Low-wage workers around the country—the majority of whom are women—gathered Tuesday to strike for $15 an hour. The Fight for 15 campaign, now in its third year, began with fast-food workers demanding better wages, and now includes factory laborers, home- and child-care workers, janitors, retail employees and others earning less than $15 an hour.
The campaign is backed by the Service Employees International Union and has seen victories in cities across the country. In Los Angeles and Seattle, for example, city councils voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 incrementally over a period of years. And in San Francisco, residents voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2018. On Tuesday, campaign organizers added Pittsburgh to their list of wins, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 for state employees.
Fight for 15 organizers say demonstrations were held in at least 270 locales, including Las Vegas, Fresno, Calif., Troy, Mich., Fairfax, Va. and Milwaukee, among others.
Latina and feminist icon Dolores Huerta joined activists in Milwaukee who are not only demanding a better minimum wage, but also protesting the Republican presidential debate happening Tuesday night in that city.
“The Republican candidates are going down the wrong path with all of these attacks they’re making on our community,” Huerta said in a statement. “They’re against raising the minimum wage, against fighting climate change, even though families are struggling and global warming is going to affect every one of us.”
Photo of workers striking in Los Angeles in 2013 courtesy of Dog Park Media