History was made today. Gov. Brown joined legislative leaders, workers and unions to announce a deal on proposed legislation to make California the first state in America to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. This day was a long time in the making. Worker led movements like the Fight for 15, labor unions and community groups have been gathering momentum for several years on this issue.
To see California’s Governor hug Burger King worker Holly Diaz after she tearfully told a crowded room of reporters that this wage increase is going to make all the difference in her life and the life of her young daughter was one of those moments that puts everything in perspective. Raising wages lifts up families and communities. It restores dignity to workers. It makes people whole again.
Today’s announcement sets California on a fast track to making the Fight for 15 a reality.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:
“Californians need a raise. The historic measure strikes a blow to income inequality and will help lift millions out of poverty. With this bill, yet again, California is on the leading edge of providing all working people with the rights and dignity they deserve.”
It’s important to note that this deal didn’t just happen. It’s the culmination of years of work by thousands of workers across California who were brave and courageous enough to demand that employers pay a living wage. And it wouldn’t have happened without unions fighting every day not just for our own members, but for all workers seeking a path to the American Dream.
The details of the deal can be found here. While today’s announcement was a huge leap forward, the deal isn’t done. In the coming days, we’re going to have to rally behind this legislation and ward off attacks from corporate special interests and their lobbyists.
Join the fight today. Because when working people stand together, we win. And this is going to be one whopper of a win for workers.