Join The Fight for $15

$15DSAThousands of people across the country will be taking part in a huge strike for better pay and working conditions  on April 15.  From fast-food to home care, airport, construction, and Walmart workers to adjunct professors and other underpaid workers, folks from every corner of the country and the globe will be joining together across industries on Tax Day, April 15th, for the Fight for $15.

Will you stand with them this Wednesday? Find an action near you.

You and I know that it’s inevitable in the capitalist system for bosses to exploit workers. But it’s not just happening at the level of individual workplaces. Corporations must compete with each other or die, and that means avoiding expenses as much as possible. Low-wage workers struggle to make ends meet and, if they can navigate the deliberately complicated application process and the constant shaming that comes with public assistance, they get the support they need from taxpayers while their employers get off the hook for paying higher wages. That’s what I call corporate welfare.

All workers deserve a union to demand their fair share of the fruits of their labor, but in the meantime, let’s demonstrate that collective action can be society-wide, not just in one workplace. It’s good practice for building a movement for democratic socialism. Continue reading

Bay Area Victories for Living Wage

by Seth Sandronsky

sf-living-wage

On Tuesday San Francisco voters approved by a 77 to 23 percent margin Proposition J, which will increase the city’s minimum wage from the current $10.74 per hour to $12.25 per hour by May 1, 2015. The city’s minimum wage would climb to $13 per hour by July 2016; to $14 per hour by July 2017 and $15 per hour by July 2018.

“Prop. J will provide a much needed raise to $15 per hour for 140,000 of the lowest paid workers in our city,” Gordon Mar, executive director of Jobs with Justice, San Francisco, told Capital & Main. “Prop. J will also raise the bar nationally for minimum wage policies.”

The “Fight for $15” to gain a higher minimum wage for workers began in Seattle, Washington. Voters there, with Socialist Alternative city council member Kshama Sawant spearheading a grassroots movement, approved phased-in hikes to the minimum wage, eventually reaching $15 per hour, this year. That momentum in no small way encouraged people in U.S. cities such as San Francisco and Oakland to vote for increasing the pay of low-wage service workers to $15 per hour in this year’s midterm elections. Continue reading

Fast food strikes go nationwide on Aug. 29

by Laura Clawson


Fast food strikes are, as promised, set to expand dramatically, with a call for a nationwide one-day fast food strike on Aug. 29. While the groundwork has been laid for the strikes thus far—in cities like New York, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis—by serious organizing ahead of time, the call for a national strike clearly aims to spur workers in other places to self-organize, with an online toolkit and invitation to contact organizers.
Continue reading

Under Student Pressure, Sodexo Agrees to Pay Ithaca College Dining Workers a Living Wage

by Chris Zivalich

After a year-long intensive campaign, Ithaca College’s dining hall workers, employed by the multinational corporation Sodexo, will be paid a living wage during the 2011-2012 academic year, and will continue to be compensated at an adequate salary as calculated by Ithaca’s Alternatives Federal Credit Union for each subsequent year.

Our successful endeavor to gain socially sustainable, living wages for dining hall employees began last year when Ithaca College students, who had worked as interns at the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, established the student organization L.I.P.S. (Labor Initiative in Promoting Solidarity). I became a member only fairly recently in late February after returning from a semester abroad.

Continue reading