Over 6.5 million workers in California are paid less than $15/hr. And on Tuesday, November 10th workers, labor unions, and community allies will take to the streets to demand $15/hr and a union.
Local fast-food cooks and cashiers will join the largest-ever strike to hit America’s fast-food industry on Tuesday with walkouts planned for a record 270 cities, including several cities across California. Following the strike, fast-food, home care, and child care workers from San Diego to San Francisco will protest to demand that elected leaders nationwide stand up for $15/hr and union rights.
It’s been three years since workers launched their movement for higher pay and union rights in New York City. In those three years, the demand for $15/hr has already helped to lift wages across the nation and has defined the 2016 presidential race. Yet there are still millions of workers bringing home poverty wages after a hard days work. Forty-two percent of workers in America are paid less than $15, including 48% of women, 54% of African Americans, and 60% of Latinos.
All of the major Democratic presidential candidates support the Fight for $15, and the Democratic National Committee voted in August to make $15/hr an official part of its 2016 platform. In June, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told fast-food workers at a national convention in Detroit, “I want to be your champion,” and said that “what you’re doing to build the Fight for 15 movement is so important.” In recent months, Clinton has held round-table meetings with home care and child care workers fighting for $15/hr and union rights.
A recent poll of workers paid less than $15/hr commissioned by the National Employment Law Project showed that 69% of unregistered voters would register to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union; and that 65% of registered voters paid less than $15/hr would be more likely to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union. Seventy-six percent of the underpaid workers surveyed said they would pledge to vote for candidates who support $15 and a union. That’s 48 million potential voters who could turn out if there were candidates who backed higher pay and union rights.
Over the next year, the Fight for $15 plans to engage this untapped voter group around issues of higher pay, union rights, improved child care and home care, racial justice and immigration reform— issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate.
Join the Fight for $15 on November 10th. Click here for a list of actions across California on Tuesday. You can also follow the action on Facebook & Twitter with the hashtag #FightFor15.
See you in the streets!