Tag Archives: fight for fifteen

Fight for Fifteen: A National Convening

By Sarah Aziza

Thousands converged in Richmond, Virginia over the weekend to participate in the Fight For $15’s first-ever national convention. Central to the two-day gathering was the historic Richmond Resolution, a statement of purpose and strategy that members approved unanimously on August 13. The convention culminated on Saturday, as 8,000 people marched in sweltering heat to demonstrate their support for the resolution and their determination to see their agenda through the remainder of election season.

From the start, it was clear that organizers would emphasize the intersectionality of racial and economic justice. According to Fight for $15 national organizer Kendall Fells, the choice of Richmond for the convention underscored this framework. “We chose Richmond because it’s the onetime capital of the Confederacy,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “and we want to draw links between the way workers are treated today and the racist history of the United States.” Continue reading Fight for Fifteen: A National Convening

New Labor Forum Highlights: April 18th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

This week’s Highlights focuses on the Fight for $15. We begin with New Labor Forum consulting editor, Stephanie Luce, who places the wage gains in context of the larger, global fight to stop the erosion of worker power and answers critics who claim that the United States cannot afford a $15 minimum wage. We also encapsulate information we think everyone should want to know about the differences between the recent New York and California wage increases,  and the positions of each of the five 2016 Presidential candidates on #FightforFifteen. Next, we have a video clip from a panel at the Murphy Institute where Fight for $15 Organizing Director Kendall Fells describes how thousands of workers least expected to rise up are doing so to demand what no one thought possible: $15 an hour for fast-food workers. We conclude with two pieces about the massive day of action, April 14, 2016, for the Fight for $15. The first is a video from Fight for $15 that shows the scope of involvement around the globe. And we close with an article about Jeffrey Pendleton, to whom the day of action was dedicated.


  1. And a Union: Minimum-Wage Victories and The Fight for Worker Power by Stephanie Luce
  2. Comparing New York and California’s Wage Increases
  3. The Presidential Candidates on #FightforFifteen
  4. VIDEO: Kendall Fells on the Fight for $15
  5. VIDEO: Fight for $15 April 14, 2016
  6. When Wages Lead to Jail and Death

Photo by Mark Dixon via flickr (CC-BY)

“Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation

On October 19th, the Murphy Institute had a packed house for “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement,” sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

The forum panelists highlighted that the growing movements, Black Lives Matter and Fight For $15, share in the struggle for access to justice and equality. These movements not only intersect but recognize that together there is the opportunity to create significant change. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation

State Workers Sucker-Punched in Fight for $15 Proposal

Workers in New York State have reason to be excited: Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken steps toward raising the statewide minimum wage to $15. To many, this might seem like an obvious victory for workers and activists who have been engaged in the long fight for $15/hr. But, as Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37 — New York City’s largest public-sector union — argues in City & State, it might not be quite the win that it appears to be:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently called for raising New York’s minimum wage to $15, which, if enacted, would be the highest statewide minimum wage in the country.

“It’s wrong to have any economy where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where the American dream of mobility and opportunity has become more of a cruel myth,” Cuomo declared in announcing the plan.

Indeed, at a time when workers throughout the country have been plagued by stagnant wages, the “Fight for $15” is a worthy battle that deserves all of our support. Continue reading State Workers Sucker-Punched in Fight for $15 Proposal

From Fast Food to Nonprofits: $15/hr in NYS

As New York State moves towards a $15/hr wage floor for fast food workers, some are asking: are fast food workers enough? In City & State this week, James Parrott and Jennifer Jones-Austin (Opinion: The Importance of a $15 Wage Floor for New York’s Nonprofits) argue for a wage increase for “[t]he 250,000 workers in New York’s nonprofit sector providing essential human services.” They write:

Over 80 percent of these workers are women, most are not represented by a labor union, and nearly two-fifths have at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree (twice the share as in fast food).

Yet half of this workforce makes less than $15 an hour. That’s not nearly enough to provide for basic family budget needs in any part of our state. Like fast-food workers, the earnings of many human services workers are so low that they qualify for public assistance.

Human services pay, they note, is directly linked to state allocations for human service contract funding. They write:

It makes good fiscal sense for the state to increase human services contract funding to raise the pay of low-paid nonprofit workers. High employee turnover will decline, yielding hiring costs savings and improved service quality. After all, many of these government-funded services are intended to help low-income families get back on their feet and to better care for their children and other family members. Improved delivery of these essential services will save taxpayers in the long run, as will the reduced use of public assistance by nonprofit workers.

For the full piece, visit City & State.

Photo by The All-Nite Images via flickr (CC-BY-SA).

Fight for $15 Picks Up Steam

It’s all happening. Last Wednesday, the New York state wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended a state-wide minimum wage of $15 for fast food workers in NYC and throughout the state. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted for a $15 minimum wage for those working in its unincorporated areas by 2020, which will complement the minimum wage hike for workers in the City passed in May.

Who else is making moves in the $15 direction? The UC system, Kansas City (well, $13), Washington, DC.

Justin Miller wrote up a nice roundup of these developments over at the American Prospect on Friday. As he writes, “All in all, it has been a highly successful week for minimum wage campaigns around the country.”


Photo by MTEA via flickr (CC-BY).