“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
– Frederick Douglass, 1857
In the wake of Seattle and San Francisco passing minimum wage ordinances for $15 in 2014, and successful minimum wage ballot initiatives last November, a new poll conducted by Hart Research Associates shows 63% of respondents support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. The Hart poll shows that, in two short years, strike action and protest by low-wage workers, combined with major victories has dramatically changed public opinion. Low-wage workers have pushed public opinion past President Obama’s 2014 proposal for $10.10, and have set the national target of $15 minimum wage in 2015.
Other highlights from the poll:
- 75% support $12.50 by 2020
- 71% support elimination of the tip penalty (which disproportionately affects women)
- 82% support indexing wage to inflation
If implemented, these changes would have a dramatic effect on the lives of low-wage workers nationwide, raising millions out of poverty.
Opposition doomsday arguments are crumbling as well. A recent University of Massachusetts study concluded that fast-food giants like McDonalds could raise wages to $15 without shedding jobs, which flies in the face of the National Restaurant Association claims that,“$15 would clearly jeopardize opportunities for existing and prospective employees.” (Al Jazeera 1/23)
Thousands of fast-food workers have taken to the streets over the past two years demanding $15 and a union, and home healthcare, retail, and airport workers across the country have now joined in the fight for $15/hour. Now is the time to get involved to win $15 in all 50 states!
The day after Thanksgiving has become a retail "holy day" where big stores will do anything to increase their sales, often on the backs of their lowest-paid workers. Large retailers like Macy's and Best Buy are once again forcing their employees to come to work on Thanksgiving evening and miss spending time with their families.
While retailers pull in record profits, Minneapolis workers battle through the holidays with unpredictable schedules, poverty wages, no paid sick time, and even wage theft. Workers who face this reality have joined the MPLSWorks campaign to fight for $15 an hour, fair scheduling, paid sick days, and an end to wage theft. They have talked with their city council members, occupied City Hall, and gone on strike. Now it's time to ask retailers on the day where they enjoy the most profits, will they support these policies too?
The Minnesota Retailers Association led by Pawn America and Best Buy has come out against the City of Minneapolis taking action on scheduling and sick day ordinances. Individual stores still have the opportunity to support their workers and all workers in Minneapolis. We expect them to treat their workers right, especially during the holidays!
Join workers on Black Friday to take their message to retailers in Downtown Minneapolis, and have a little fun on the most important sales day of the year.