I am writing to ask for your help with an historic living wage campaign with national repercussions.
The momentum for a $15/hour minimum wage is clearly on our side. Recently, December 5th, there were another approximately 100 strikes and rallies of fast food workers across the country demanding a $15/hour minimum wage. With this dynamic struggle, the successful $15/hour minimum wage ballot initiative in SeaTac, Washington, and my election to Seattle City Council with a campaign that centered on $15/hour, we have a lot of exciting momentum.
I am working with unions and community organizations to build on this by preparing to launch a grassroots campaign to win a $15/hour minimum wage in Seattle in 2014. This campaign will build up public pressure to make sure the city government passes a real ordinance for $15/hour.
But this might not be enough. Big business will not let this pass without a serious fight. We will need to counter the power of corporate America with a powerful mass movement of neighborhood and campus groups, town hall meetings, and mass rallies. In case the city government fails to pass a real $15/hour ordinance, we need to lay the basis now for a $15 ballot initiative in November 2014.
We need to face up to this challenge. It will be a trial of strength between the 99% and corporate America. Can we win this battle? I believe we can, but it depends on every one of us stepping up.
This $15 Now campaign will require real resources, and we have a goal of getting at least 1000 people to donate $15 per month. Will you join me in donating $15 per month to the $15 Now campaign? Of course, you are welcome to donate more on a monthly or one-time basis!
We are concentrating on Seattle where the fight for $15 has the best immediate prospects. But a victory in Seattle in 2014 would open the floodgates for working people to follow suit and demand $15/hour across the country.
Please let me know what you think about this initiative and whether we can count on your endorsement and donation.
You can set up a monthly donation, or a one time donation here.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming launch of 15now.org.
Sep 1, 2013
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Candidate for City Council, Seattle, WA
The growing movement of fast-food workers boldly calling for a $15/hour minimum wage marks the next stage in the struggle against economic inequality in the U.S. Picking up where the Occupy movement left off, fast-food workers are demanding the right to unionize and an end to poverty wages.
Since the inability to survive on the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour is undeniable, conservative economists and the corporate media are forced to rehash age-old rhetoric against minimum wage increases.
How do the arguments defending low wages square with the landscape of inequality?
Aren't most minimum-wage workers just teenagers earning pocket money?
Three-quarters of minimum-wage workers are aged 20 or older. More than 25% are parents, and a majority of them are the primary or only providers for their household.
Most low-wage workers are not able to advance to better-paying jobs. Entry-level positions in the fast-food industry offer few prospects for promotion or advancement, despite the often-advanced “mobility myth.”
Shouldn't workers who want to earn more get an education and a better job?
Posted by Anna Minard on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM on The Slog
When you think about your interactions with fast food employees, you're usually telling them what you want. Today, thetables were turned at City Hall when local fast food workers sat down across from Seattle City Council members and told the council what fast food workers want: Better wages and benefits—and even more importantly, for the city to start actually enforcing a two-year-old law that criminalizes wage theft.
By Nick Hanauer Jun 19, 2013 3:50 PM PT
The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequalitycreates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.
With seven strikes of fast food workers in eight weeks, demanding $15/hour and the right to a union, a discussion of raising the minimum wage has begun to stir up the predictable frenzy of pro-market mythology.
As in every previous discussion of raising the minimum wage, it has been asserted that such a move would increase unemployment, be harmful to the most underprivileged workers, bad for small businesses, and indeed, disastrous for the wider economy. In this same narrative, low-wage jobs are stepping stones, and hard work and higher education are reliable paths to middle class employment.
Is any of this true?
Who Are Low-Wage Workers?