An Impossible Dream?

In May just past, protestors at a national meeting of McDonald’s shareholders demanded that the company establish a minimum wage of $15.00 an hour.  In reporting that protest, NBC News noted that what had seemed an impossible dream had gained not only credibility but also momentum and popular support.  Two organizations, Fightfor15.org (a group backed by the Service Employees International Union), and 15now.org, have been set up with the sole purpose of accomplishing what their names suggest – an immediate $15.00 minimum wage.

Kendall Fells, a director of Fightfor15, said recently “They used to think $15 was impossible. Now it's popping up everywhere.”  Everywhere, as of this writing, includes Los Angeles, San Francisco (tentatively in the latter case), Oregon, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. 

What’s particularly interesting about this development is that many of those advocating for a $15.00 minimum wage also assert the need for unions.  In particular, some folks in Los Angeles made that clear.  Acting in support of southern California fast food and retail workers’ demands for a wage that would allow them to live above the poverty line, the Los Angeles Workers Assembly not only made their support for a $15 minimum wage known to Los Angeles’ City Clerk and City Attorney, but also linked that support to the need for union representation for low-wage workers.

We should all join in these efforts. Contact your Members of Congress; tell them “we need $15 now!”

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Michele Petrovsky holds a Master's Degree in Computer Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent over two decades teaching in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and currently publishes two blogs: Thoughts4Change and I Owe It All to J Thaddeus Toad. Petrovsky resides in Glen Mills, PA.


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