Tag Archives: #15forAll50

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Minneapolis is getting a raise

After years of strikes and organizing across Minneapolis, over 71,000 workers are on the verge of winning a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis City Council introduced language on June 6th to pass a $15 minimum wage later this month! This is a huge victory for workers who’ve built a movement across Minneapolis, and gathered nearly 20,000 signatures for #1FairWage of $15 for all workers by 2022, no exemptions.

We are so close to winning $15 with #1FairWage in Minneapolis. But we can’t let upnow.
Donate $15 today to get $15/hour over the finish line! Get involved with 15 Now!

When we organize, we can win! Our movement has built massive support across Minneapolis, and workers organizing has brought tremendous pressure on City Council to pass $15. Until the very last vote, our work is not finished! We built enough pressure from below that even the Chamber of Commerce has accepted $15, but they will fight to defend their profits by trying to undermine the proposal: for example, by artificially extending the implementation period, or exempting young workers.

Join 15 Now on June 22nd at City Hall, beginning at 3:30, or as soon as you can join us! Let’s deliver a clear message to city council: a $15minimum wage means economic opportunity for women and workers of color disproportionately filling low-wage jobs. Delaying $15 means keeping working people in a fight to survive, not fully living. Minneapolis demands $15/hour, lifting over 71,000 workers by 2022, no carve-outs, with real enforcement to ensure that wage theft doesn’t undermine our victory when $15 becomes the law.

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Minimum Wage Victories in 2016 Show We Can Beat Trump’s Agenda

Minimum wage victories swept the nation in 2016, with $15 winning in Washington D.C., parts of Oregon and New York, the entire state of California and more, resulting in raises for 11.8 million people. In the past four years of the nationwide fight for $15, low-wage workers have won $62 billion in wage increases (NELP report).

In Minnesota, as in Ohio most recently, the state government could block workers’ rights legislation at the local level. It’s called pre-emption, and it’s been happening in states across the country. And at the national level, Trump has even appointed a Fast Food CEO as labor secretary, someone who says he doesn’t believe in a minimum wage!

Watch, share, and retweet the 15 Now MN video on pre-emption:

Our movements have won tremendous victories since fast-food workers first took strike action in 2012. Low-wage workers pushed $15/hr on the agenda in the first place, and it’s going to take a powerful movement of low-wage workers to fight back against people like Trump and Andrew Puzder, the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr, and the President-elect’s pick for  the new Secretary of Labor. Puzder is against raising minimum wage, fiercely anti-union, and a strong advocate for “trickle down” economics. That makes sense. The average full time Hardee’s worker makes $15,130 a year. Meanwhile, Andrew Puzder made $17,162……. a day!

Puzder will fit right into the new administration. In addition to its rampant poverty wages, Hardee’s ads have been criticized for objectifying women. When asked about this, Puzder said “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

Puzder claims
 that paying people a living wage will be an added regulatory cost that businesses will have to offset by increasing unemployment, which data clearly shows is not the case. According to a recent release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Seattle, which passed a $15 ordinance almost 2 years ago, hit a new cycle low of 3.4% unemployment.

When people like Trump and Puzder say “make America great again”, they mean to make their billionaire buddies richer at the expense of working people. We can’t wait for Trump’s team to put forth “trickle down” policies that will only benefit people like Trump and their colleagues. We need to build mass movements to fight against right-wing attacks and for working people.

Big business interests will use every tool they have to continue raking in record profits: whether it’s lobbying for a tip penalty and other carve-outs that undermine minimum wage, or by ramming through pre-emption legislation across the states.

We need to continue building our movement, to demand that elected officials don’t leave the door open for Trump’s agenda and corporate attacks!

Help us grow the movement. Donate at www.15now.org/donate

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Build a Movement to Fight Racism and Poverty – 15 Now Minnesota Statement on Philando Castile Murder

via 15 Now Minnesota
The atrocious murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota have triggered a national fightback to demand justice for black lives. So far in 2016, police have killed 136 black people in the U.S. Unfortunately, a peaceful demonstration in Dallas was marred by the horrific deaths of 5 police officers by snipers. 15 Now Minnesota condemns this violent act, which will not help to win a united movement against the systemic racism, poverty, and injustices disproportionately faced by communities of color.   

Thousands are angry, pouring into massive demonstrations in New York, St. Paul, Oakland, but many are already skeptical that an investigation will bring justice. Even in spite of the live, viral videos, in the case of Eric Garner and other young black victims of police violence, the grand jury process and Department of Justice investigations have not resulted in convictions or jail time for police officers.

15 Now Minnesota stands in solidarity with the movement for black lives. We demand the officers involved be indicted. We call for a united movement of working people to fight for our communities’ basic needs: an end to systemic, racial profiling, for fully-funded public education, a $15 minimum wage, and jobs with full union rights.

Working people face a Tale of Two Cities in our metro area. The Twin Cities are home to 20 Fortune 500 companies, and yet some of the worst racial equity outcomes in education and poverty rates in the US. We need a top-to-bottom restructuring of the police departments. We need an end to “broken windows” policing and the war on drugs, which is really a war on young people of color and an end to the school-to-prison pipeline which traps millions into a deep cycle of poverty.

In Minneapolis, supporters of a $15 minimum wage handed in 20,000 signatures to put a charter amendment for $15 on the November ballot. Another organization, the Committee for Responsible Policing, has proposed an amendment to require personal insurance for police officers. But City Hall has indicated being “ideologically opposed” to petitions that amend the City Charter. The city establishment has signaled that it hopes to keep both measures off the ballot, despite refusing to take action on the injustices facing communities of color and working people in Minneapolis. We refuse to allow the signers for both petitions to be silenced: Let voters decide!

At the vigil and occupation outside the Governor’s mansion, union members showed up in scrubs and transit driver uniforms, to stand against the murder of Castile who was a union member and St. Paul Public School employee. The labor movement should go further and mobilize its members to protect the peaceful demonstrations demanding justice for Philando Castile, and actively build the fight for $15/hour as a concrete step against low-wage jobs that are disproportionately filled by women and people of color. After the snipers in Dallas and white supremacists shot at the 4th precinct occupation last winter, violence against protesters could be used to repress the peaceful Black Lives Matter mobilizations.

Winning $15 in Minneapolis would raise the confidence of workers across the Twin Cities, demonstrating that when we organize and build coordinated actions, we can win. To win justice for Philando, we must build demonstrations, rallies, walk-outs and actions demanding an end to the racial profiling that is killing black, working class people nationwide. We are organizing for a concrete victory in a fight against the business as usual racism that has resulted in the devastation of working class, communities of color. By building a united movement, we can win a $15 minimum wage and strike a blow against the racist system of poverty wages.

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15 Now MN: Sick Days Victory Shows Minneapolis Can End Poverty Wages

After a two year movement of rallies, strikes and actions, low-wage workers in Minneapolis won the first Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) policy in the Midwest. By passing ESST, City Hall unanimously agreed to take responsibility for workplace conditions, as a result of increasing pressure from escalating demonstrations by low-wage workers and a powerful coalition. This further shows City Council can pass our campaign’s proposal for $15/hour as an ordinance at any time.

Sick time was one issue in a suite of workers’ rights demands, including $15, that City Hall hesitated against taking action on in the fall. In response, workers organized and forced the city to take action, with escalating demonstrations demanding sick days, a $15 minimum wage, and an end to wage theft, including one rally of hundreds that brought downtown traffic to a halt back in February.

Pro-business policies have left Minneapolis with some of the worst in the nation racial equity gaps, despite also also having the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country. “City Hall felt urgency when big business lobbied for the Vikings Stadium,” said Ginger Jentzen, Executive Director of 15 Now Minnesota. “City Hall should feel the same urgency to pass $15 as they did to strike a deal for the Wilf brothers.”

Mayor Hodges has said she does not support raising wages at a city level but stood with workers on sick time, and City Attorney Susan Segal has raised questions of bringing $15/hour as a charter amendment. “Passing sick time shows it’s legal to put a $15 minimum wage to voters in Minneapolis, and we aim to get the signatures to show that 20% of our win number in the fall supports putting the $15 decision back into the hands of Minneapolis workers,” said Ginger Jentzen.

Minneapolis taking the initiative on paid sick days has spurred other cities to follow suit. St. Paul and Duluth are now considering their own paid sick time policies. Demonstrations in Minneapolis have raised workers’ confidence in cities across our region.

82% of Minneapolis voters support a phased in $15/hour minimum wage. This widespread support can be seen in the fact that In just five weeks, over 10,000 people have signed the ballot initiative for a $15/hour minimum wage. The $15 for Mpls campaign is working to verify signatures collected to ensure it meets the threshold of 7,000 to qualify. Over 400 individual donors have contributed a median donation of $6 — that’s how much more, per hour, minimum wage workers will earn if we win $15/hour

But it took a movement and powerful organization of working people in Minneapolis to win safe and sick time. By linking pro-worker policies and increased membership in unions to win $15, we’re building a method to reverse the economic devastation working people have faced under decades of waiting for big business to voluntarily enact policies which benefit workers. Pascual Tapia, CTUL member and retail janitor said, “I am happy to see that my work helped open the space to win paid sick days in Minneapolis.”

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Justices Reject Franchises’ Appeal over Seattle’s $15 min. Wage — McDonalds is NOT a Small business

Our Movement is Winning! Join the fight for 15 Now!
Donate to grow the movement today: www.15Now.org/donate

From the Washington Post
SEATTLE — The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in for the first time Monday on a $15-an-hour minimum wage, signaling it does not plan to stop the movement that is spreading across the nation, worker advocates say.
The justices refused to hear a challenge to Seattle’s law, which franchise owners said discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses.

From The Stranger (Seattle)
The International Franchise Association argued the law discriminated against franchises and violated the Commerce Clause. They lost that argument last year in U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit. [The May 2nd] decision means those lower court decisions will stand. That’s good news for workers in Seattle and in cities across the country looking to follow our lead on $15.

 

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Onto the Ballot, Into the Streets: California Workers Win a $15 minimum wage

California workers are the most recent to win a major victory in the movement for a $15 minimum wage. Only days after labor, community groups and low-wage workers qualified a statewide ballot initiative for $15/hour by 2021, Governor Jerry Brown counter-proposed raising the wage to $15 by 2023. If anyone tells you radical change isn’t possible, and to settle for incremental change instead,” writes US Uncut, “tell them to look at what the Fight for 15 movement has accomplished.”


In Seattle, Tacoma, Oregon and now California, low-wage workers and supporters used a ballot initiative to force $15 onto the agenda. In each case, big business and their allies saw the writing on the wall. Independent political action has been a key component to every concrete victory for $15 to this date, including strikes, mass demonstrations, and political challenges through ballot initiatives, to clearly expose the interests of big business against the interests of working class communities. Faced with a strong workers movement, politicians who previously ignored $15/hour came under pressure to side with workers’ demands.

In Minneapolis, 15 Now Minnesota is launching a ballot initiative for a $15/hour minimum wage. Despite thousands of workers and supporters organizing for $15 as a concrete step to deal with Minnesota’s worst in the nation racial and economic disparities, city officials haven’t acted to solve the crisis of poverty pay facing over 100,000 workers, mainly women and workers of color. Winning $15 in Minneapolis will take a mass movement of workers building pressure from below, ready to take $15 to the ballot and turn the passive 82% support for $15 in Minneapolis (shown by a recent poll) into active organizing to win.

Earlier this month, Oregon workers won a tremendous victory when Governor Kate Brown signed a statewide minimum wage increase, raising Portland workers to $15 by 2022. While Oregon workers and $15 supporters continue the fight against state government pre-emption on municipal legislation to deal with workers’ rights issues, the statewide increase would not have happened without a strong ground campaign fighting to get $15/hour on the Oregon ballot.

The movement for $15 should be very clear: even when politicians cut across worker organizing to reach consensus with business, these victories are a result of the strength of grassroots organizing by low-wage workers, labor unions and supporters.

Working class communities are winning by organizing independently. Our movement has shifted the national debate. Even Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who didn’t initially support the call for a $15 minimum wage, has shifted under pressure from worker organizing, to raise the demand for $15 as part of his call to build a “political revolution against the billionaire class”.

When status quo politicians don’t clearly stand on the side of working people, we’ve proven our movement can assert itself by mounting a political challenge, through a ballot initiative or by running our own candidates who will firmly represent the interests of working people.

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March for $15 Now in Jersey City! Sunday April 3rd, 1:00pm

Sunday April 3, 2016 1:00pm
Journal Square

After two years of organizing in the Garden State, we are seeing the power of the working class. Unions are winning $15/hour at the bargaining table. Jersey City has instituted a $15/hour minimum wage for city workers. In Trenton, legislators are preparing for a ballot initiative next year.

As we celebrate these victories, we need to continue organizing workers to pressure the political system. We are not going to accept long phase-in periods, loopholes, or other concessions.

WE DEMAND $15 NOW!

To Join The Facebook Event Click Here

Print And Distribute The Flyer Click Here

Co Sponsors- Socialist Alternative, Food Not Bombs, Anakbayan NJ, NJ Sisterhood, Industrial Union Council, Newark Science and Sustainability Inc., Filipino Immigrants & Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP), Food And Water Watch, NJ Peace Action, Action 21, NJ Badass Teachers Association, People’s Organization For Progress, Green Party NJ, Solidarity Singers, Socialist Party New Jersey, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War, Latino Action Network (LAN), Greater New Jersey Pride at Work, Central NJ Democratic Socialists of America, Community of Friends in Action, NJ Working Families Alliance, NY Metro Area Postal Union, Decarcerate The Garden State, Communications Workers Of America New Jersey

For More Information, or to put your organization on the list of Co-Sponsors Email15nownj@gmail.com

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BACKERS OF $15 MINIMUM WAGE PLAN TO LAUNCH MINNEAPOLIS BALLOT CAMPAIGN

via Erin Golden, Star Tribune
“Minneapolis residents may have another item to vote on at the polls this November: raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Members of the group 15 Now Minnesota said they’re tired of waiting for the Minneapolis City Council to act on calls for a higher minimum wage, so they’re taking the issue directly to voters.”

Read Full Star Tribune coverage Here
Read Minnpost Coverage Here:
Civil Rights Groups Launch Push to Get $15 Minimum Wage on Minneapolis Ballot 
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15 Now Minnesota Launches $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative Campaign  
Amid massive support and City Council inaction, activists appeal directly to voters

Minneapolis — Low-wage workers in the Twin Cities are launching a grassroots campaign to put a $15 minimum wage on the ballot in Minneapolis in 2016. The initiative is backed by 15 Now Minnesota, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), the Minneapolis NAACP, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), the Minneapolis chapter of Black Lives Matter and other community and labor organizations. These groups will come together for a ballot campaign launch event on February 27th, a mass meeting to bring together all workers and supporters of a $15/hr.

After months of coalition building with supportive organizations and low-wage workers, organizers with 15 Now Minnesota are confident the initiative can win. They point to a recent poll that showed 82% support for $15/hour among Minneapolis voters, victories in other cities across the country, the popularity of Bernie Sanders’ campaign and high voter turnout in 2016.

“Under pressure from big business, city hall backed away from the Working Families Agenda, a key set of policies to address Minnesota’s worst in the nation equity gaps. But we don’t think the rest of Minneapolis agrees that a $15 minimum wage can wait. We’re building a mass movement of workers who need $15/hour now,” said 15 Now organizer Ginger Jentzen. “This initiative is designed to put that decision back into the hands of those most affected by poverty wages.”

Many major cities across the country have taken bold steps to address poverty wages over the past year, such as New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. More than 4 in 10 workers nationwide are paid less than $15 an hour, including more than half of African-American workers and 6 in 10 Latino workers. Supporters say $15 is one of the most impactful single steps we can take towards racial and economic equity in Minneapolis.

“The $15 ballot initiative is an opportunity to take a lead and fight against the racial and economic disparities tearing our city apart. When I talk with our supporters, they are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages. They’re tired of the race to the bottom,” said Claire Thiele, a low-wage worker and 15 Now volunteer. “If the Council won’t act, we will.”

“As a small business owner, I pay my employees a living wage and support $15,” said Brett Mattson, owner of the South Minneapolis restaurant, Cap’s Grill. “My restaurant business is expanding. My employees are happy and most have stayed with me. It can work for Minneapolis too.” ###

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STATEMENT ON OREGON’S NEW MINIMUM WAGE: WILL THE BALLOT MEASURE CONTINUE?

via Oregonians for $15

On February 18th, Oregon’s state legislature gave final passage to a minimum wage bill that will move Oregon to the highest minimum wage in the nation. Although not a statewide $15, the partial and extended increase that will move 25 Portland area cities to $15 by 2023 is clearly the result of massive pressure brought on legislators and the business sector by 15 Now Oregon and the growing national movement for $15.Unfortunately,as all the living wage studies show$15 isn’t even enough in Portland right now let alone by 2023, andthe bill’s attempt to account for minor differences in cost of living throughout the state by phasing in three different regional minimum wages accomplishes little other than leaving hundreds of thousands of working people behind.

The bill increases the minimum wage in three tiers. In the 18 counties the bill defines as rural, the minimum wage increases to $12.50 by 2022. For the rest of the counties outside of the Portland Metro area the minimum wage increases to $13.50 by 2022. And for the 25 cities in the Portland Metro area, the minimum wage will increase $14.75 by 2022, and after the cost of living adjustment in 2023 the wage for those 25 cities will reach $15 per hour or higher.

Unfortunately $15 isn’t even enough in the Portland area right now, let alone by 2023. Furthermore, the bill’s attempt to account for minor differences in cost of living throughout the state by phasing in three different regional minimum wages accomplishes little other than leaving hundreds of thousands of working people behind.

Still, it is important to recognize the massive and historic significance for the broader movement in the fact that 25 cities in Oregon are now on a clearly defined path to a $15 minimum wage. We sincerely hope that victory serves to inspire others across the nation to continue to Fight for $15.

We recognize the significance in the fact that Oregon will now move to the highest minimum wage in the nation.

We also recognize the material importance of the fact that half a million low-wage workers and their families here in Oregon will now be getting raises of up to a dollar per hour every year for the next six years, raises that they had no guarantee of prior to the passage of this bill.

It is important to recognize and take stock of these things, recognize them for the victories that they are in and of themselves, and thank 15 Now Oregon, 15 Now PDX, Jobs with Justice, PCUN, OSEA, OFNHP, Laborers Local 483 and all the other organizations, low-wage workers, labor activists, and small business owners across the state who have poured their time and their effort, their hearts and souls into this struggle for the past two years. To all of you, we say thank you and we appreciate you.

At the same time, we also have to recognize that the new minimum wage plan for Oregon is a far cry from the statewide $15 minimum that Oregonians have been demanding for those past two years.

Aside from leaving most of Oregon behind at a lower minimum wage without restoring local control over minimum wage laws, perhaps the most glaring deficiency in the recently passed bill is that despite moving Oregon toward the highest minimum wage in the nation, it does not even begin to create a living wage anywhere in our state. It doesn’t create minimum wages that allow low-wage workers and their families to be self-sufficient. According to the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Oregon, a single parent needs anywhere from $15-23 per hour in one half of Oregon’s 36 counties in order afford the basics for her family. That study was conducted in 2014, not in 2023. Yes this bill does increase the minimum wage, but it is too low and too slow.

As this bill is clearly inadequate in providing a living wage for working Oregonians, we will continue collecting signatures for IP 41, the statewide $15 ballot initiative that phases in over three years, by 2019. At the same time, in light of the legislative bill’s passage there are a number of factors that need to be considered in honestly determining our continued viability for the 2016 election. Over the next month we will be having conversations with the members of our coalition and other stakeholders to examine the shifting political landscape around the minimum wage issue in Oregon. This landscape is still rapidly shifting. For example, it has already been announced that a new “bipartisan” minimum wage bill is being introduced to try and roll back the bill that just passed along party lines. Through these discussions it is our hope to discern the most strategic path forward for the continued struggle and agitation around a living wage and other issues of importance to Oregon’s working class.

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NY Times Editorial Board Calls for $15 Minimum Wage Nationwide

“Sooner or later, Congress has to set an adequate wage floor for the nation as a whole. If it does so in the near future, the new minimum should be $15.”
New York Times Editorial Board
Dec 26th, 2015 (Image via NY Times) 

We know the widespread support for a $15 minimum wage is because of the massive movement of low-wage workers organizing and building grassroots pressure to win. On January 1st, Seattle workers will get another raise in the steps toward $15/hour.

Can you donate $10, $15, or $25/month to win a $15/hour minimum wage nationwide?

We need to continue building support for $15/hour in 2016 in our communities and workplaces. Because of this growing workers’ movement, the mainstream press and establishment politicians have been forced to answer to workers’ rights. We know that without massive pressure from below, politics as-usual means little changes for working people and big business continues to make massive profits off poverty pay, unchallenged.

In five states and nine cities – including California, New York, Oregon and Washington, D.C. – voters and lawmakers will consider proposals in 2016 to gradually raise minimum wages to $15 an hour.

The ballot initiatives and pending legislation will build on momentum from this year, in which 14 states and localities used laws, executive orders and other procedures to lift wages for all or part of their work forces to $15 an hour.”

Across the country, $15/hour is a fight we can win.