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


‘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.


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.


"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.