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‘We Triggered Something Epic’: The Fight for $15 and Beyond


#1

‘We Triggered Something Epic’: The Fight for $15 and Beyond

Sarah Jaffe

When Naquasia LeGrand first got involved with the Fight for $15 workers’ movement, it was, she says, “underground.” No one, least of all her, knew how far the movement would spread in the four years since she helped launch the first fast-food workers’ strike, in New York City in November 2012. New York fast-food workers won their raise in 2015, though it won’t be fully phased in in the city until 2018.


#2

I'm all for the Fight for $15, but they're opening themselves up to a scam. Any politician who wants their votes just says, "I support a $15 an hour minimum wage," then adds "eventually" once elected. Which is what HRC did after it was added to the platform.

The typical minimum wage job gives 12-16 hours per week. At $15 an hour, that's the same as working 40 hours and getting $4.50 to $6 per hour. Pathetic. How about:

If the person only has one job, and you give them < 40 hours per week, the minimum wage is $20.
If a person makes less than $15* 40 per week and strikes for more hours or pay, and loses their job, they qualify for unemployment compensation.
A federal DOL ban on "right to work" laws
Harsh penalties for employers' retribution against unions and attempts to unionize

It took me 4 minutes to think of these. You all have plenty of time. And debates are coming up, in case that's encouragement for you. And I don't just mean presidential candidates.


#3

"It goes on forever because these corporations tend to try to find ways
to get workers out of jobs or try to cheat them out of their money."

No truer words. I worked decades ago for postal carrier. The starting pay, 8 an hour was rare for part time back then. If you start with this same carrier today, the pay is still 8 an hour. 30 years later.