Noon-5pm @ Union Sq., NYC; 5:30pm march to Zuccotti Park where over 20 speakers are scheduled
On Thursday May 1st thousands of workers will converge on Union Square in Manhattan for what will be one of the largest May Day rallies and marches in decades. Faced with increasing deportations, depreciating wages, and expired contracts, low wage workers, immigrants, and unions are coming together to demand a better future for themselves and their families. This year’s demonstrations are centered around three key demands that include an end to deportations, retroactive pay for new city contracts, and a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Since 2013, when fast food employees across the nation went on strike to demand better wages and union representation, the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage has become the cornerstone of a new workers movement.
At the forefront of this battle is 15 Now, a national organization that has been fighting to raise the minimum wage in cities across the country. Already in SeaTac, Washington, airport workers have struggled for and won a minimum wage of $15 an hour, and Seattle is poised to be the first major city to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Now the fight has come to the most unaffordable city in the country, NYC. As a recent New York Times article pointed out, and as every New Yorker intuitively knows, rents are skyrocketing as household wages plummet (since 2000, rent is up over 18%, while wages are down over 7%).
People are suffering throughout New York City, but no group more than the working poor.
Mayor de Blasio recognized this and came to power by running a populist campaign, which energized people by promising to actually fight for working people. Sadly, however, he has already begun to show his limits when faced with opposition from fellow Democrats like center-right Governor Cuomo and the party’s corporate bosses on Wall Street. Although de Blasio has said he wants to raise the minimum wage, he has not yet said what he wants to raise it to.
Workers and activists across NYC are going to come out on May Day to demand that NYC raise it to $15 an hour.
To learn more about what others have written about the 15 Now movement and the struggle for a $15 an hour minimum wage see the following articles:
For more information about this protest or the $15 NOW movement contact: