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.
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, the vote to increase the minimum wage may have little effect as the Missouri legislature has actually barred cities from setting their own minimum wage. Similar situations played out in Iowa and Kentucky. After 5 counties passed local minimum wage laws in Iowa, 10 city councils effectively voted out of their county’s wage increase. Then, the state went on to ban local governments from setting a minimum wage. And in Kentucky, the Supreme Court actually ruled that “cities in Kentucky lack the authority to increase the minimum wage” after the city of Lexington voted on an increase in 2014.
But to be fair, the movement isn’t all the way caput. In fact, we found this Craigslist ad looking to hire an Fight for $15 organizer in Boston, MA. Check it out.