Fight for $15 plans labor actions in 340 cities on Nov. 29

You’ve made it through Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Are you ready for National Labor Action Tuesday?

Advocates for low-wage workers across the nation, the “Fight for $15” campaign are calling for a national action on Nov. 29, throwing a potential monkey wrench into the ongoing Christmas consumer festival in an effort to bring attention to the plight of minimum-wage workers. The campaign hopes that thousands of workers will walk off the job, join worker marches or demonstrations or otherwise protest in 340 cities across the nation. The campaign is demanding better pay, beginning with a hike of the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. It is currently a paltry $7.25 and has not budged in seven years.

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But a higher hourly wage is not the only thing on the organizers’ Christmas list, which has taken a confrontational tone this pre-Trump administration season. “Now is not the time to fade away,” the action’s organizers say. “It is the time to stand and be counted.”

In addition to “$15 and union rights for all,” organizers issued a demand for climate justice and a call for an end to police killings, structural racism and deportations.

RELATED - Job Insecurity: New labor campaigns hope to turn low-wage work into a decent living

Fight for $15’s walkout announcement challenges “newly-elected politicians and newly-empowered corporate special interests” that “threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right.”

“Fight for $15 is declaring that we will not back down and that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition.”

In the past, the national day of action for raising the federal minimum wage has drawn workers from fast-food and retail industries. This year, workers at airports plan to join in, and Uber drivers say they will also participate, protesting what have become, according to some drivers, minimum or below-minimum wages at the on-demand car service.

Disruptions may be especially severe at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Hundreds of workers there voted last week to walk out for the entire day on Nov. 29. The labor clash at O’Hare has been brewing for years between the Service Employees International Union, which is supporting Fight for $15 nationally, and Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. The airport's janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants are currently paid $8.25 an hour, Illinois' minimum wage. Workers say they chose a date post-Thanksgiving to stage their protest to avoid snarling holiday travelers. Twenty other airports nationwide, including those in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, may also be affected by local protests, which could ultimately affect air travel nationally.

According to organizers, the various strikes, demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience planned for Nov. 29 are meant to put “the country’s biggest corporations" on notice that “they must act decisively to raise pay for fast-food, airport, home care, child care and higher education workers, among others.” The national actions are also intended “to let President-elect Donald Trump, members of Congress, governors, state legislators and other elected leaders know that the 64 million Americans paid less than $15/hour are not backing off their demand for $15/hour and union rights.”

Kevin Clarkeis chief correspondent at America magazine and the author of Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out. Twitter: @clarkeatamerica

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ed gleason
1 year ago
Now is the time for organising. RN Nurses 'shut em down' years ago and now make $90.000--100,000 K a year. A shut down of Christmas??? ...and Jesus won't blink an eye that his Christmas birthday is absent a lot of unnecessary gifts.
J Cosgrove
1 year ago
Anyone advocating for higher minimum wages is not advocating a policy that helps the poor. It in fact hurts the poor by creating more of them because they will be out of work. It sounds so simple, just raise their wages but the employer has many options in turn. And most will not result in higher wages for the poor. Two obvious ones are 1. automation. Ordering kiosks are getting more common and there is a machine that will make hamburgers and present it on a tray to the customer in a bun with all the trimmings without a human hand involved and actually taste better. http://uproxx.it/2fyraP6 http://read.bi/2gS85aW 2. upscale your workforce - many who won't work for minimum wage will now work at the higher wages if mandated. These more efficient workers will replace the poorer less skilled workers as the higher wages are enforced. Thus, depriving them of the opportunity to learn job skills. The real reason to have higher minimum wages is not to help the poor but to enable the unions to demand higher wages that are much higher than the new minimum wage. They are using emotions for the poor to make their wages higher. In other words the minimum wage hike is a stealth union wage increase while there are less jobs for the poor. Very cynical!!! And is the higher minimum wage in reality a racist policy? It will hurt people of color more than any other group.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Would you give us an example of a state or a major city (over 250,000) where the poor have done well under republican leadership.
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago
Why aren't they advocating for $30 an hour, or $100? How did $15 become the moral number? And why only in America? How about a global minimum wage of $30 an hour (about $55k a year), with 2 months paid vacation? And free healthcare? And free college? Surely, that would end our worries about global warming. And fix the economy (for good) and end the anxiety of searching for jobs.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
That's the spirit Tim, but how are you going to pay for 10,000 DC lobbyists? Are you one of the 150 rich people to get Trump's proposed trillion dollar tax cut? Trump's proposal also targets a five trillion dollar tax cut for everyone else in the US.
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago
I'm not a Trump voter, and not nearly rich enough to get near the really rich (who all voted for Hillary anyway). I am against perpetuating Obama's debt driving spending - everything should be paid for, including wage hikes.
Tom Fields
1 year ago
If you graduate from High School--don't marry until you are out of High School and don't have a child until you are out of High School---your chances of ever living in poverty---are extremely small.Get training---develop a trade/resume---- If you encourage and help people to do these things---they will never have to worry about the minimum wage.
L J
1 year ago
My father made it as far as 3rd grade, and he told his children often, "¿si otros pueden porque tu no?" (If others can, why not you)
ed gleason
1 year ago
San Francisco, Seattle, LA have the highest wages and the least unemployment. The minimum wage complainers need to have their retail, transportation , food, schools, health/home workers, nannies etc shut down with a general strike. Give em something real to complain about. The USA is now the number one unequal society in the world and these complainers think the no-tax Trumpster is going to supply them with cheap labour all their lives. Count the companies that were shut down for hiring undocumented labour. NONE. Anti wagers think the cheap labourers are such stooges they won't organise and get their due, Keep your eye peeled for a new Les Walesa/Solidarity movement ....: The Dem Elite were not up to the real job. bring it on. The Russian army was useless. Will Bannon and Trump, the draft dodger, will get the US Army to break a general strike? . Ha
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago
It's rather obvious that the least unemployment will be associated with the highest wages. Supply and demand: worker scarcity raise wages, no matter what the government does. Also, in communities with high wages, the impact of raising the minimum wage will have the least impact. If you really believe minimum wages have no negative effects, just argue for $50 an hour? To say the USA is the most unequal society is almost meaningless, as if it was in itself an absolute negative. Many nations have less inequality because their most successful citizens leave (notice where the rich European tennis players live). Socialist systems try to keep everyone down equally - that why people who can leave do leave (and the governments try to stop them - Cuba keep everyone in equal poverty and closed the borders). People would not be trying to get into America in the millions if they feared inequality here.
ed gleason
1 year ago
For your information Mr O Leary.USA is not Cuba and not socialist. $50 and hour is common for the working class /blue collar in the cities I mentioned.And $26 an hour truck driver jobs are going begging with big HIRING signs on the back of trucks. . you say to us "To say the USA is the most unequal society is almost meaningless,' Try telling that to an out of work rust belt blue collar. Then duck.
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago
Ed - you miss the point. The inequality metrics are artifacts. The richer the country, the greater the metric. For example, "socialist" Sweden and capitalist USA were almost the same on the inequality metric. Third-world Indonesia was about the same as Austria! On global personal wealth, Communist China was bigger than Capitalist Japan (http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/). An out-of-work rust belt blue collar worker wants a well-paying job, irrespective of the degree of inequality. If the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the Bloombergs and Rockefellers (all Clinton voters, btw) all left the US, the inequality metric would improve but the proverbial rust belt worker would soon be worse off, not better. And, I doubt he would want to move to Indonesia or China because they have less inequality. And he certainly would not want to move to Cuba, where the average state salary was $20 a month in 2013 (and he couldn't leave or speak or practice his religion). Another metric: average wages (according to OECD Stats 2015 - see wiki) were $58k in the USA, $48k in Canada & $15k in Mexico. Carlos Simm of Mexico is the richest man in the world. The inequality metric ranks Mexico higher than the US (above link), yet no poor Americans are clamoring to get into Mexico - the push is always the other way. Poor people vote with their feet and care little for an inequality metric, which seems only to get limousine liberals exercised. You didn't say if you would prefer $50 an hour or $100 as the new mandated minimum.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Fifty million US workers earn $20,000 or less. The federal government considers a family of four making less than $24,250 to be impoverished. A $10,000 a year wage increase would run $500 billion. Trump’s proposed tax cut for the 150 richest taxpayers would total about $500 billion over five years. Twenty US companies have spent a total of over $500 billion on stock buybacks in the past five years. 10,000 Washington DC lobbyists and a “rigged system” perhaps have left behind fifty million Americans. http://investmentwatchblog.com/40-percent-of-u-s-make-less-than-20000-the-fed-government-considers-a-family-of-4-making-less-than-24250-to-be-impoverished/ http://247wallst.com/investing/2016/06/23/20-companies-buying-back-the-most-stock-in-2016/
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago
While I don't care for Trump, he is a populist who seems to spend his time working to keep jobs that were going abroad (Ford, Carrier, etc.). I haven't heard any tax plan of his that will only benefit the top 150 rich people (like Buffet and Gates, etc), so that is probably a fake news story. Anyway, Clinton almost certainly won the vote of the really rich. Pence removed most lobbyists from his transition team and they are proposing a new law to prevent administration appointments from becoming lobbyists for at least 5 years after they leave the government. Finally, the 50 million Americans you describe as left behind had that done while the Obama administration was in power.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
“…50 million Americans you describe as left behind had that done while the Obama administration was in power.” Middle class stagnation began with the rise of the Washington DC lobbyists in the late 1970s. Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson track lobbyists in their book “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class”. How much will Trump cut taxes on top incomes? We may never know as the IRS suspended its top 400 report. The Tax Policy Center notes Trump would cut taxes by $6 trillion over the next 10 years with half going to the top 1 percent. If $3 billion goes to the top 1 percent, does half of that ($1.5 trillion) go to the top .01 percent and then half of that ($0.75 trillion) to the top .0001 percent? Income of the top 400 perhaps should be assigned a GDP. Their combined income over ten years could exceed every state’s GDP except that of California, Texas and New York. The adjusted gross income of the top 400 averaged $318 million in 2014. https://www.amazon.com/Winner-Take-All-Politics-Washington-Richer-Turned/dp/1416588701 http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/new-studies-trump-promising-6.2-trillion-tax-cut-clinton-1.4-trillion-hike/article/2604239 http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2016/12/01/how-much-will-trump-cut-taxes-for-top-400-well-never-know-as-irs-ends-400-report/#471be8981795
L J
1 year ago
$20k annual salary is a staggering amount of money. Cubans on the island make ~ $20/month http://www.economist.com/node/10727899 Puerto Ricans on the island would love to make $20k Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica, Venezuela....VENEZUELA!!!...,visit these nations and taste, if you dare, true poverty. Americans whine about their poverty while they possess and have access to more inessential goods and services than most Westerners. Cubans dont have cell phones, internet, private automobiles, acrylic nails, designer fashion brand clothing and on and on and on. Yet they make it. I dare say Cubans are happier on the island with their misery than Americans with their "poverty " Travel to Monterrey, la Frontera, Chiapas, Tegucigalpa, Managua, San Jose, San Pedro de Marcoris (DR), then you will be ashamed of how middle to low income Americans live in splendor. There is no poverty in America. Children in Haiti would relish having shoes never mind the big ticket, pricey, name brand "athletic shoes" Americans have while on school sponsored lunches. Teachers in Argentina buy books, pencils and paper for their students! Cubans would be delighted to live in houses less than 50 years old with running water, electricity in conduit behind walls, toilet paper (TOILET PAPER! ), cable TV, smart phones, wifi, personal automobiles, etc etc etc ad nauseam ad infinitum. If you travel to Cuba you will be ashamed to go to the bathroom of a resident because toilet paper is seldom available. They use their hands and water. Amercians pets have got it better than most the way most children live in the Caribbean
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Surely you are not suggesting the less well-off (or anyone else) give up on the American dream. What’s the plan to raise the standard of living?
L J
1 year ago
"The USA is now the number one unequal society in the world" You, Sir, need to get out more and travel the world, or at the very least a few nations in Western Hemisphere Americans are the most coddled people in our world, and we show it by the staggering rate of chronic medical conditions mostly self inflicted. Unplug from the internet boards and be a culture of encounter.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Low wages make more money available for stock buybacks. Buybacks, in the short term, drive up stock prices. High stock prices mean capital gains which makes up the majority of the $¼ billion average income of the 400 richest taxpayers. Low wages at one major US employer tripled its stock buyback. https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Al woke up in the middle of the night to check out a sound he heard coming from the kitchen. Al was one of twelve siblings in the 30’s growing up in New York City. He found his mother sobbing at the table…there was no food or money. “Marriner Eccles convinced the FDR administration that mass consumption was critical to getting mass production moving again and pulling the domestic economy out of the Great Depression. FDR appointed Marriner chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1935, a position Marriner held through 1948. Annual GDP growth averaged over 11% during Marriner’s tenure as Fed Chairman.

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