On April 15, over 60,000 union members, students and low wage workers in 230 cities across the country walked out of their work places and classrooms to march, rally and occupy for a $15/hour minimum wage and the right to a union. SEIU played a key role in providing organizing resources, organizers and mobilizing it’s membership to come out for the day of action. With its focus on building a broader campaign, 15 Now also played a critical role in mobilizing, organizing and supporting the strikes and direct actions.
Across the country 15 Now chapters are distributing this leaflet outlining our strategy to win a $15/hour minimum wage for millions of workers.
On April 6, students at Northeastern University made history by winning a student referendum vote to implement the nation’s first campus-wide $15/hr minimum wage. The initiative passed with 76.4% of the vote.
Not only did these students break ground nationally by becoming the first campus to demand $15, they broke ground at Northeastern by smashing all previous election records. While the referendum does not immediately raise wages for campus workers, it shows a clear mandate to address the issue of income inequality on campus and forces the Administration to act.
With a coalition of 9 progressive student groups on campus, 15 Now Northeastern is poised to put their university on the front lines of the fight for wage equality nationwide. Northeastern students are speaking out and fighting back against wage inequality on their campus.
“There’s an unusual buzz on campus,” says Elan Axelbank, a Northeastern student and one of the main organizers of the campaign. “You’d be walking around campus during voting week and just hear random groups of people talking about 15, it was awesome.”
The president of Northeastern, Joseph Aoun, is the second highest paid university president in the country, earning over $3.12 million in 2011. In the face of many campus workers earning poverty wages, this is unacceptable. With the support of the student body, and along side campus workers, 15 Now Northeastern will be demanding public negotiations with the school’s administration. This will be a difficult and heated process, considering the antagonistic history of Northeastern’s administration towards progressive campaigns on campus. Nonetheless, Northeastern students are ready to take on their administration and demand $15 for all campus workers!
We need to build on this victory by spreading 15 Now to every campus, city and neighborhood in the country. The movement for a living wage is growing and winning more and more victories every week. On April 15th, workers, students, and community members will be marching in over 200 cities nationwide to demand $15/hr for all workers.
By Kailyn Nicholson
40,000 Seattle workers got a raise on April 1 (from $9.47/hr to $11/hr, $10/hr for employees at small businesses who receive tips and/or health benefits), but the University of Washington administration is claiming exemption from the city’s new minimum wage.
Bringing the good news – and the party – to workers
by Patrick Ayers
“Congratulations to you all and to us all on this phenomenal historic victory… Let’s make sure that all workers know they are getting their rightful legal wage and they know we are on their side and we have their backs if they challenge their bosses against wage theft. Let’s make sure that we will fight for them if they are intimidated, threatened, harassed, or fired for asking for their rights.” – Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
15 now, in coalition with unions and supporters, brought the good news to low-wage workers on Saturday, March 28: Seattle’s getting a raise!
For Immediate Release
Jess Spear, 15 Now Seattle Organizing Director
WHAT: Press conference unveiling the bus ad rejected by King County Metro, with action at low wage workplaces immediately following
WHERE: Westlake Park, 4th and Pine
WHEN: Thursday, April 2, 11:15am
WHY: A bus ad to educate workers about the minimum wage increase sponsored by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Teamsters 117, Unite Here Local 8, IBEW 46, Casa Latina, and 15 Now has been rejected by King County Metro on the basis that it promotes Councilmember Sawant as a candidate for office.
Seattle’s Getting a Raise!
Last year Seattle made history by becoming the first major city to pass a $15 minimum wage for all workers, raising the wages for 100,000 workers. This historic victory kicked open the door for other major cities like San Francisco to follow, with communities rising up and demanding a $15 minimum wage in cities near and far from Portland to Minneapolis.