A Los Angeles Unified School District move to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour has thrust the system into the forefront of a national movement and marks another political victory for a powerful labor group — and it’s not the teachers union.
Rhode Island Democrats take a page from the GOP in moving to quash a city’s bid to hike hotel worker pay
Nearly 1,000 people marched in Boston’s Copley Square Thursday night as part of a Wage Action event to protest low wages. The group marched in favor of a $15 minimum wage and access to living wage jobs.
Low Wage Worker Day of Action
June 12, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Boston * Worcester * Springfield
Save the date of Thursday, June 12, 4:00 – 6:00 PM and rally with us for economic justice! Too many low wage workers are trapped in poverty. We are tired of being pitted against each other in a race to the bottom.
A person with a disability who has worked for subminimum wage will be one of the speakers. Come support ending subminimum wage (when workers with disabilities are legally paid less than minimum wage) and raising the minimum wage for everyone!
On June 12, join us and many other community organizations and unions for a statewide LOW WAGE WORKER DAY OF ACTION. Rallies will be held 4:00 - 6:00 in the following locations:
- Boston: Rally at Copley Square, followed by march
- Worcester: Rally at Walmart, 25 Tobias Boland Way
- Springfield: Rally at 16 John Street & March to McDonalds
Free bus transportation to the Boston rally will be available at the following locations. If you need an accessible bus, please let Allegra Stout know right away: 617-338-6665, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lynn: Bus @ North Shore Labor Council, 112 Exchange Street. Bus leaves at 3:00PM.
- Dorchester: Bus @ 1199SEIU, 150 Mt Vernon Street. Bus leaves at 3:15PM.
- Lawrence: Bus @ 50 Broadway. Bus leaves at 2:30PM.
- Chelsea: Bus @ Chelsea Collaborative, 318 Broadway. Bus leaves at 3:15PM.
- (Other bus locations may be added later)
- To RSVP or reserve a seat on a bus, call 617-284-1260, reply to this email, or sign up at wageaction.org.
- If you need any accommodations to participate, please reply to this email or call Allegra Stout at 617-338-6665.
- You can also RSVP and invite friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440991689472181/
- Twitter: #WageAction
**The rallies are child-friendly and will occur rain or shine!**
After a high-profile international protest — the biggest fast food strike in history — disgruntled McDonald’s employees decided to continue their campaign outside the company headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., leading to more than 100 arrests and a tussle with the police.
Wednesday’s protest was held a day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where it’s expected executive pay will be discussed. Around 2,000 McDonald’s workers and other minimum wage activists stormed the Hamburger University campus to call for $15 hourly wages and the right to unionize, leading to what is reported to be the largest demonstration against the world’s biggest fast food company.
"We cannot survive on poverty wages. We need our wages to be increased and we need a union to have protection in the workplace and take care of our families," 25-year-old McDonald’s employee Jessica Davis, who makes $8.98 an hour, told TIME. “McDonald’s is my only job. It’s really hard taking care of two children and paying the bills.”
Happening NOW: McDonald’s has closed their corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois and sent executives home after thousands of protesters from around the country block the entrance to the annual shareholder’s meeting in the largest labor protest the company has ever faced. 100 protesters have so far been arrested.
Four days of radical politics, debate, and entertainment
June 26–29 • Crowne Plaza Hotel O’Hare • Chicago
Happening NOW: Hundreds of NYC fast-food workers walk off the job and march down Broadway to participate in the largest fast-food strike in history.
SHARE this photo and help make #fastfoodglobal a trending topic on social media!
You might say the chieftains of America’s largest restaurant corporations want it every which way and then some.
Having read the polls supporting a minimum wage hike, they’re skittish about trashing the idea personally. So they pay their DC lobby machine to do their dirty work. And it’s not enough for them to shove the costs of their low-wage model onto Joe Schmo taxpayer. These CEOs are also making the rest of us pay for their own fat paychecks.
How’s that again? Yes, ordinary taxpayers are not only covering the cost of billions of dollars in public assistance for restaurant workers who earn poverty wages. We’re also subsidizing the pay of our nation’s notoriously overpaid CEOs.
Here’s how it works: Under the current tax code, corporations can deduct no more than $1 million for executive pay from their federal income taxes. But there’s a giant loophole that allows unlimited deductions for “performance pay.” So, no surprise, what the big corporations tend to do is put about $1 million of their executive pay packages toward salary and call the rest “performance pay.” That way the more they shovel into their CEO’s pockets, the less they pay Uncle Sam. And the rest of us foot the bill.
A new report I co-authored at the Institute for Policy Studies explains how the 20 largest corporate members of the National Restaurant Association have benefited from this loophole. These corporations aren’t necessarily bigger exploiters than those in other sectors. But they deserve extra scrutiny because of the high social costs of their low-wage model—and because they’re fighting so hard to preserve it.
Nearly all of the big restaurant corporations are members of the National Restaurant Association, which is leading the charge against minimum wage increases.
… Polls have confirmed that Americans from across the political and ideological spectrum are overwhelmingly in favor of a substantial increase in the minimum wage. And election results are now confirming the sentiment.
Now comes a powerful signal from Chicago.
When voters in the city went to the polls to cast ballots in Tuesday’s statewide and local primary elections, thousands of them faced an economic question: Would they support a $15-an-hour minimum wage for large employers in the city?
The results were overwhelming. With 100 of the 103 precincts where the issue was on the ballot reporting, 87 percent of voters were backing the $15-an-hour wage. Just 13 percent voted against the advisory referendum. That huge level of support will strengthen the hand of activists who are encouraging the city council to consider a major wage hike.
The Chicago vote illustrates a phenomenon that is being seen in many of the nation’s largest—and most expensive—urban areas.
“With inequality at record levels, more workers relying on public assistance just to afford the basics, and the federal minimum wage stalled at just $7.25, more and more cities are responding with higher minimum wages at the local level,” says Paul Sonn, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project. “We’re seeing this especially in high cost regions where the state-wide minimum wage just isn’t enough.”
reports on how Fight for 15 activists in Chicago celebrated International Women’s Day—by demonstrating for the rights of low-wage workers.
"Unlike nations which have rational labor policies like sick leave, paid parental leave, affordable child care, vacation time, generous retirement and which protect the right to organize a union, the USA has chosen the opposite course. This has led to some of the worst inequality in the developed world, which because of our rampant gender and racial discrimination, falls heaviest on women, particularly women of color."
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S Day (IWD), March 8, was originally inspired by the historic 1909 “Uprising of the 20,000,” a garment workers strike of women in New York City, many of them immigrants. They demanded better pay, better working conditions and the right to join a union.
So it made sense that the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), which leads the Fight for 15 campaign in the city, should celebrate International Women’s Day by standing up for the rights of women workers in 2014.
A Chicago McDonald’s worker named Carmen Navarrette had been told that she “should put a bullet through her head,” because she had requested permission to go home after becoming very ill at work. She is a diabetic and had just been released from the hospital.
As a result, dozens of WOCC members and supporters marched into a North Side McDonald’s on International Women’s Day to demand an end to this kind of discrimination and verbal abuse.
On the morning of March 8, a smaller group of WOCC members and allies picketed a North Side Chicago Whole Foods and demanded the reinstatement of Rhiannon Brochat. She was fired after she stayed home with her special needs child when Chicago schools were closed on the worst day of the Polar Vortex.
McDonald’s and Whole Foods may seem like very different companies, but their attitude toward women workers is remarkably similar.
My personal opinion is that if the politicians who decry a raise in the minimum wage were really concerned about small businesses, they would set up a way to offer subsidies to these companies that truly could not financially afford to pay their workers above poverty-level wages.
Barring that, I frankly think if there is a small company that cannot afford to pay its workers a living wage, then that company either needs to change its practices, or face the fact that it should not be in business at all.
I’m reminded of the old “small” plantation owners who complained that they would “go out of business” if not for the slave labor which they depended upon. The response by abolitionists? Too bad.
If it is absolutely necessary for you to employ slave labor, or only pay poverty wages to employees, in order to run a business, then you frankly should not be in business. If your success as a “small business” is directly predicated upon the impoverishment of American workers, then you are part of the problem.
For the truth of the matter is that the crushing poverty faced by millions of low-income American workers is far more of a national crisis than the potential inability of various small-to-mid-level capitalists to run their tiny little niche-market operation.
Opponents of the Fight for 15 in Seattle are counter-attacking with the claim that small businesses would suffer.debunk their arguments.