minimum wage

All posts tagged minimum wage

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Over 20 Florida Cities Join National Day of Action to Fight for $15 and Union Rights

Florida’s Workers and Voters Demand Action from Presidential Candidates, State and Local Lawmakers Vowing to Take Fight for $15 to the Ballot Box in 2016

On Tuesday November 10, hundreds of Floridians will come together to demand action from state legislators and presidential candidates to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Rallies and marches will be held in over 20 cities across Florida, as part of a National Day of Action with events in over 500 cities throughout the country. Floridians will rally in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami, Clearwater, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Fort Myers, among other cities.

WHO: Fast Food Workers, Students, Alachua Labor Coalition, Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell, Gainesville Mayoral Candidate Lauren Poe

WHAT: National Day of Action for Living Wages and Union Rights

WHEN: Tuesday November 10th starting @ 4:00pm

WHERE: 13th Street & University Avenue in Gainesville, FL

As Florida’s legislative session approaches and attention on the presidential primaries grows, Florida’s working families and voters are making a clear demand to state legislators and presidential candidates: hardworking Floridians need and deserve to earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form a union, in order to help thousands of families out of poverty and restore our country’s middle class. Recent polls show that 65% of Florida voters support raising the minimum wage.

Florida voters are calling on lawmakers to take action at the state level by co-sponsoring the $15 minimum wage legislation, SB6 and HB109 and at the local level they are demanding legislators pass living wage ordinances.

Fight for 15 Florida and community members will stand together with underpaid workers who serve fast food, educate and care for children, care for seniors and people living with disabilities, help airport passengers, teach students in higher education and many others, to make sure the voices of Florida’s workers and voters are heard loud and clear.

“i’ve been working here too long to be paid so little. I’m fighting for 15 for my family and my future.” says Eric Campbell from Wendy’s in Gainesville

A recent United Way report concluded that Floridians need $15 an hour just to make ends meet as 45 percent – or 3.2 million – of all households in this state can’t afford basic housing, child care, food, health care and transportation. The last time the minimum wage was increased in Florida was in January when it went up a pathetic 12 cents, so an increase is clearly long overdue.

A recent poll of workers paid less than $15/hr commissioned by the National Employment Law Project showed that 69% of unregistered voters would register to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union; and that 65% of registered voters paid less than $15/hr would be more likely to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union. Seventy-six percent of the underpaid workers surveyed said they would pledge to vote for candidates who support $15 and a union. That’s 48 million potential voters who could turn out if there were candidates who backed higher pay and union rights.

Over the next year, the Fight for $15 plans to engage this untapped voter group around issues of higher pay, union rights, improved child care and home care, racial justice and immigration reform— issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate. Forty-two percent of workers in America are paid less than $15, including 48% of women, 54% of African Americans, and 60% of Latinos.

The expansion of the Fight for $15 into the 2016 political arena marks the latest sign of the mounting political power of underpaid workers who, just three years ago launched their movement for higher pay and union rights in New York City. The demand for $15/hr is already helping to define the 2016 presidential race. All of the major Democratic presidential candidates support the Fight for $15, and the Democratic National Committee voted in August to make $15/hr an official part of its 2016 platform.

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The next documentary film that the Labor Coalition is hosting is the newly updated (2014) documentary “Koch Brothers Exposed,” including new interviews with Bernie Sanders and with low-paid workers about trying to live on minimum wages.  The updated documentary shows how the Koch brothers have used their vast fortunes to oppose government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, as well as obstruct efforts to raise the minimum wage, tackle climate change and expand voting rights

The film showing will be at the Alachua County Main Library, 401 E. University Ave., Rm. A, at 7:00 PM on Wed. October 21st.

The ACLC’s “Labor Films” is an ongoing series where we hope to have fun together and become more informed and inspired about issues. If you would like to suggest a film, especially a labor film that the rest of us may have missed or is newly released, please email Sheila. We welcome ideas for co-sponsors and locations to show the films. See you at the movies.

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Note: 2 exciting opportunities to get involved in the ACLC’s Living Wage campaign: Join us Sept. 9th, 5:30pm at the IBEW Hall (2510 NW 6th St. in Gainesville) and Sept. 16th, time and location TBA (stay tuned to our Facebook group for details)

August 31st was an exciting day in Alachua County for Labor Coalition activists. Not only did we get to see the very inspiring film The Hand That Feeds, but we engaged in our first action with Fight For 15 Florida since we started the Living Wage campaign. Four Labor Coalition members went around with two state-wide organizers from Orlando and St. Pete to area fast food restaurants to talk to workers about the Fight for 15 campaign.

Von and Kelly were in Gainesville to bring the film we showed Monday night and to talk to attendees about the work they have been doing in Tampa, Orlando, St. Pete, NY and across the country to motivate workers to ask for more, to demand a living wage and better working conditions. So why not start doing some ground work here in Gainesville with the momentum we have already built county wide around worker issues?

We hit a few dozen fast food chain stores, and got workers signed up in every store. We are planning a meeting in Sept. with those workers and allies and will keep going around to talk to workers in preparation for a nation-wide action on Nov. 10We need your help in continuing to talk to workers at their work place. A few hours of your time is all it will take. The workers are excited, John D., Paul O., Dave O., and Sheila were jazzed about the reactions. It is not scary at all, some of the managers even signed, and called the workers over to talk to us.