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Fight For $15

Despite some recent success in places like Kansas City where voters approved a ballot measure this month to increase the minimum wage, it seems the movement itself is losing steam.

Source: www.tonyskansascity.com/

So far in 2017, Fight for $15 has “staged protests in just 30 cities… down from more than 600 in 2016.” Of course, much of that could be a loss of financial contribution to the movement now that we’re past an election year. We’ll have to wait until next year’s LM-2’s come out to know for sure. But we do know that last year, SEIU spent $19 million on the movement and failed to make any real progress unionizing the 7.88 million workers in the franchise industry.

Even in places like Kansas City,

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Fight For Fifteen


The Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance on June 30th raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a seven-year-period.

This, after a report came out last month outlining the negative effects of Seattle’s minimum wage increase on the city’s low-wage workers. As expected, proponents of the Fight for $15 movement have come out attempting to refute the report. Click here to read more about their concerns and why authors of the study are shrugging off such criticisms.

Alt Labor

One thing that this last election cycle made clear is that it matters to union members how their money is spent in relation to politics and social movements. That insight has become clearer with the organization or a new kind of union.

Tech Solidarity is one such “union.” It was founded in November 2016. “But rather than fighting for higher compensation and better working hours like most traditional unions, the group says it is organizing to deliver a different message: it won’t help companies collaborate ‘on dubious government policies from immigration to surveillance.’”

This is another example of the shift of unions away from traditional “representational” activities and more toward social justice issues. Looking at the amount of sway political and social movement donations from businesses have in our culture, it wouldn’t surprise us to see unions embrace this sort of paradigm in their organizing efforts. They already have.

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Fight For 15

Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Executive, vetoed legislation late last month that would have made it the first county in Maryland to require a $15 minimum wage. Leggett argues that because Montgomery is not a “destination city,” like Seattle or New York, their “residents will essentially shoulder the bulk of the cost” should a $15 minimum wage be implemented.

A recent report by James Sherk, a former research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, provides evidence that supports Leggett’s reasoning. According to the report, “fast food prices would rise by 38 percent under a $15-an-hour minimum wage and cause a 36 percent drop in employment.” Click here to see a detailed chart of how consumer prices at some of the most popular fast-food restaurants would be affected.

Fight For 15

On January 1, new minimum wages went into effect in nineteen states. Click here to see the list. The effect of an increased minimum wage remains controversial. How much does it benefit individual workers at the cost of the overall economy?

Ed Rensi reported last week in Forbes that due to these raises, some small businesses have had to close their doors – from daycare centers in Washington to independent eateries in Arizona. Even apparel manufacturers in California join a growing list of businesses leaving the state for less-expensive operating costs.

And still the question remains: what is the real benefit for unions, who have reportedly spent over $70 million funding the Fight for $15 campaign? To some major proponents, like David Rolf, the changing landscape is clear. Traditional

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Fight For $15

Fight for $15 workers had a big win earlier this month when the Seattle City Council passed “secure scheduling” legislation. This legislation requires large food and retail companies to do two things.

Create schedules at least two weeks in advance; and Pay workers extra when they’re on call and/or when management makes last-minute changes to those schedules.

This article provides a great infographic that outlines the details even further.

While this new piece of legislation is a seemingly great step forward for fast food workers as individuals, the Fight for $15 movement is having a negative on the industry as a whole. Some analysts are even noting the beginning of what they’re calling a “restaurant recession.”


Earlier this month Don Pablo’s filed for bankruptcy.This is the nation’s second-largest Mexican restaurant

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Fight For $15

wi_jobs_nowWisconsin Jobs Now began in 2011 with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin’s support of nearly $1 million in that first year. This was at the beginning when Fight for $15 was still beginning to try to become a movement. 5 years later and Wisconsin Jobs Now has decided to dissolve its affiliation with the Fight for $15 movement. While the official announcement states this to be a mutual decision between WJN and SEIU, only time will tell the real reasons behind it.

Meanwhile, the Fight for $15 movement has developed a religious stance – one that says if you support this movement, you stand on morally “higher ground.” The Higher Ground Moral Declaration is available for any and all to sign. It equates supporting a $15 minimum wage with the

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Alt Labor

BlackLivesMatterUnions really began embracing their alt-labor organizing approach back in 2012. Groups like Our Walmart and Fight for $15 are the most well-known today. While they continue to claim to be a grassroots effort, began out of the sheer desire of working people to demand more, they weren’t. Unions provided the organization and funding. Now they are moving out of the workplace and into the community (e.g. Black Lives Matter) protesting things like police brutality, racial injustice, and the cyclical cycles of poverty. And now that the veil has been removed, unions are less concerned with covering up their association.

Take the Future Fighters for example. This group

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Fight For $15

Fight-for-15In New Jersey, the state Senate approved legislation that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The legislation is now in the hands of Governor Chris Christie, who many believe will veto it.

In line with Christie is Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine. When asked by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, what his opinion of the movement in Cleveland is, DeWine stated that “cities cannot legally set their own minimum wage.” Fight for $15 activists aren’t letting that deter them, concluding that the Attorney General’s opinion is “only an opinion.”


Baltimore and Minneapolis are also moving forward with increased minimum wage initiatives.

Fight For $15

f-4-15The Fight for $15 momentum continues as more municipalities consider enacting an increased minimum wage. Washington, D.C. probably comes as no surprise, and Cleveland is now considering the measure.

In New York, similar to the Obamacare health policy penalty, activists are even pushing for a law that would create a penalty for companies that do not pay a “living wage.”

As is often the case with issues charged by emotion, facts don’t appear relevant to proponents of the movement, or unfortunately even to those public officials making the decisions to implement such a policy. The majority of economists who have weighed in on the issue are concerned that repercussions of a higher minimum wage will be injurious to both large corporations and young workers.