By Staff of National Employment Law Project. State legislatures around the country are attempting to bar cities and counties from passing their own minimum wage laws through “preemption” laws that take away a locality’s power to enact such measures. Local minimum wage laws play a key role in ensuring that a worker can afford the basics in cities or counties where the cost of living is higher than in other parts of the state. While proponents of preemption often claim that their main concern is to avoid a “patchwork” of wage levels within a state, in reality, these bills are motivated by a desire to block higher wages. Ultimately, preemption of local minimum wage laws is a priority for big business. Advocates, workers, and legislators who support an economy that works for all should oppose the preemption of local minimum wage laws. Many States Authorize Cities & Counties to Enact Local Minimum Wage Laws; Over 40 Cities & Counties Have Successfully Enacted Such Laws.
By Joel Mendelson for Jobs with Justice - People working for the city of Atlanta received welcome news as the City Council unanimously passed a budget raising their wages. Starting on July 1, 2017, base pay for city employees will rise from $10.10 to $13 an hour. Even better news? By mid-2019, all city employees will earn a minimum of $15 an hour. Now more than 1,000 people who sweep the city streets, maintain local parks, and put out fires will have a better chance at making ends meet. And this raise happened thanks to Atlanta Jobs With Justice. The coalition of labor unions, community groups, faith-based organizations, student organizations, and individuals is on the front lines of organizing Atlantans to achieve economic and social justice. In 2013, Atlanta Jobs With Justice held the city’s first Fight For $15 rally in support of brave men and women in the fast-food industry who went on strike to speak up for family-sustaining jobs. The event launched the coalition’s community-wide efforts to secure a long-overdue raise for those who make Atlanta work. The wage increase is a notable development given that a study released this month showed a working person in Georgia needed to earn at least $16.79 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The poverty rate of neighborhoods a stone’s throw from Atlanta’s City Hall approaches 70 percent.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. In the first defeat for a nominee for President Trump's cabinet, Mike Puzder, nominated to be Secretary of Labor is withdrawing. His controversial nomination has had the confirmation hearings delayed five times. Puzder has faced an unrelenting campaign by #FightFor15. They recently took over Hardees corporate headquarters and dropped banners urging him to be rejected. #Fight for $15 protest in St. Louis. #Fight for $15 protest in St. Louis. #FightFor$15 raised issues about his refusal to pay overtime, fair wages, his widespread violations of labor laws, safety laws and laws against discrimination. They have recently emphasized that Puzder didn’t pay legally required taxes for his housekeeper for many years and that he only paid up when pressured to do so because of his nomination. #FightFor15 has shown itself to be a workers campaign that cannot be ignored.
By Anna Susman for Fight for $15. The four-year-old Fight for $15 will not back down and that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition. To show their determination in the face of the seismic shifts in the political climate, workers in the Fight for $15 said Monday they will wage their most disruptive protests yet on Nov. 29, expanding their movement to nearly 20 airports serving 2 million passengers a day, and risking arrest via mass civil disobedience in front of McDonald’s restaurants from Detroit to Denver. Workers spanning the economy—including baggage handlers, fast-food cooks, home care workers, child care teachers and graduate assistants—will demand $15 and union rights, no deportations, an end to the police killings of black people, and politicians keep their hands off Americans’ health care coverage.
By Antoin Adams for The Huffington Post - In the nearly 100 degree heat this weekend, I joined thousands of fast-food and other underpaid workers in Richmond, VA—the capital of the former Confederacy— to lead the first-ever Fight for $15 National Convention. It wasn’t a typical convention like you see on TV: We didn’t endorse any candidates, and there weren’t speeches from politicians. Instead, we came together in Richmond to highlight the racist policies that are holding back workers of color nationwide, and to mobilize the 64 million Americans paid less than $15/hour ahead of the 2016 election.
By Kira Lerner for Think Progress - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — On Thursday, low-wage workers across the country are taking to the streets to demand a $15 minimum wage. In New York, the protests were scheduled for the same day that a New York police officer was set to be sentenced for the killing of Akai Gurley, one of the most high-profile police misconduct cases in recent city history. Though a judge postponed the sentencing of former NYPD officer Peter Liang while allegations of juror misconduct are considered...
By Isaiah J. Poole for Campaign for America's Future - Thursday night is a big night for both political parties in New York City, with the Democratic presidential candidates staging a presidential debate in Brooklyn and the Republican candidates appearing at a black-tie fundraiser at the New York Hilton. But before they get to their big nights, the candidates will have to get through the big day planned by the Fight for $15 movement, which is staging major demonstrations and strikes in New York, Washington and hundreds of other cities around the country. In Manhattan, marchers started gathering Thursday morning at the Times Square McDonald’s and planned a “die-in” at a McDonald’s in Brooklyn.
By Staff of Fight for 15 - Days after millions of workers in California and thousands in Pennsylvania won historic pay increases to $15/hr and amidst ongoing negotiations for $15/hr for millions more in New York, the unstoppable momentum for $15 and union rights continued to build as underpaid workers across the globe said they would wage the biggest-ever day of strikes and protests on April 14.
By Giovanna Frank-Vitale for Fight For $15. A New York Times editorial, Teresa Tritch details what happened with Harry Truman doubled the minimum wage in 1950 from 40 cents to 75 cents an hour: “By December 1950, when the 75-cent minimum had been in place for nearly a year, [the unemployment rate] had fallen to 4.3 percent. By December 1951, it was 3.1 percent and by December 1952, it was 2.7 percent.” In an editorial Friday, the Times criticizes laws that industry-backed legislators are trying to quietly pass through state houses nationwide to nullify local efforts to raise the minimum wage. The editorial board writes on a situation unfolding now: “In Alabama, a pre-emption effort introduced this month seeks to nullify a law passed last year by the Birmingham City Council for a citywide minimum wage of $10.10 an hour by mid-2017. If enacted, the state bill would also torpedo efforts to adopt local minimum wages in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
By Giovanna Vitale and Jack Temple for #FightFor15. Fast-food workers announced Friday that an unprecedented wave of strikes and actions calling for $15 and union rights will hit this primary season to hammer home to candidates that the nearly 64 million Americans paid less than $15 an hour are a voting bloc that cannot be ignored. Workers will also continue to collect signatures on their Fight for $15 Voter Agenda, a five-point platform that launched late last year and calls for $15 and union rights, affordable child care, quality long-term care, racial justice and immigration reform—issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate.
By Ned Resnikoff for Aljazeera - Current and former McDonald’s workers who accuse the fast-food giant of illegal union-busting will get their day in court on Monday, when an administrative law judge is expected to begin hearing arguments in a major unfair labor practice suit. The Obama administration's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will represent the workers in a case that could have wide-ranging consequences for the McDonald’s franchising model.