For Immediate Release
Former McDonald’s Franchisee to Bloomberg: 'I wanted to get the hell out'
WASHINGTON - Here’s the latest update in the Fight for $15 and union rights:
With 62% of New Yorkers backing $15/hour, Gov. Cuomo pledges ‘full campaign to pass $15’
Sixty-two percent of New York voters want a $15 minimum wage statewide, according to a poll released today by Quinnipiac University. The poll comes as Governor Cuomo pledged to kick off “a full campaign to pass $15,” stating Thursday, "I'm saying that we need to raise the minimum wage because we have low-wage workers who can't make it in this city on $18,000-a-year. It's math. It's third-grade math."
“McRevolt: The Frustrating Life of the McDonald’s Franchisee – Not lovin’ it”
McDonald’s workers aren’t the only ones feeling squeezed by the Golden Arches. Bloomberg reports that McDonald’s franchisees are now speaking out against the abusive practices they face from the company, detailing how Al Jarvis, a McDonald’s franchise owner of nearly 50 years, was forced to sell his store after years of menu changes and new demands from the company ultimately hurt his business. Jarvis told Bloomberg that he hit a point where his dealings with management were so problematic, he “wanted to get the hell out.”
Fight for $15 leaders to welcome Pope at the White House
Fast-food, child care, and home care workers will represent the Fight for $15 when they join SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and President Obama at the White House to welcome Pope Francis to the United States on September 23. Adriana Alvarez, a 22-year-old McDonald’s worker from Chicago who is part of the delegation attending the welcoming ceremony said, “It’s a great privilege and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to welcome the Pope and represent fast-food and low-wage workers everywhere.”
From working at KFC to standing with the VP Workers in New York and all over the country continued to celebrate Governor Cuomo’s decision to adopt a $15 minimum wage for the state’s 200,000 fast-food workers. Alvin Major, a Brooklyn KFC worker who has been involved in the movement since the very first strike in 2012, told his story in the Huffington Post: “Because of our movement, cities and states have stopped waiting for Congress and have started raising the minimum wage themselves. And many elected officials and candidates for high office are lining up to support our Fight for $15. Who would have thought three years ago that a KFC cook from Brooklyn would stand with the Vice President of the United States?”
In an Atlanta Journal Constitution op-ed, home care worker Latonya Allen explained why she joined the Fight for $15: “Home care workers know that $15 an hour and a union would change our lives. It would put our nation’s home care system back on the right path and help us care for our clients without living in poverty.”
“How this single mom survives on $7.50 an hour”
In an in-depth video segment, CNNMoney looks at the life of McDonald’s worker and Fight for 15 Philly member Safiyyah Cotton and her struggle to support herself and her child on $7.50 an hour. Safiyyah works 20 hours a week and brings home about $240 every two weeks. She is forced to penny-pinch on every expense, from shelter to food to health care. CNNMoney writes, “Prioritizing her rent bill means wiping out most of her first paycheck of the month. During her pregnancy, she ended up in a shelter. She is desperate to keep that from happening again.”
Demands for $15/hour – and higher – sharpen nationwide:
Declaring that it’s time to join “the big boys” like New York, Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard and State Representative Victor Torres called on their colleagues in the State House to sign on to their respective bills to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Bleu Rainer, a fast-food worker from Tampa, told the Tallahassee Democrat, “We can’t even afford to get a bus ticket to and from work. So we ask elected officials to stand with the workers and against the CEOs who make millions and treat us like trash and don’t want to pay a livable wage.”
Meanwhile, in Berkeley the Labor Commission is proposing a $19 minimum by 2020, which the Berkeley City Council will vote on in November.
Target workers in Brooklyn form “microunion”
This week a group of pharmacists at a Target store in Brooklyn successfully won a “microunion,” allowing them to bargain for higher pay and have a voice on the job. Fusion explains, “Workers affiliated with unions earn, on average, 27% more than non-union members. As wages have stagnated, the urgency of finding ways to boost them has become more pronounced.” Lately, unions are seeing renewed support, with leading economists such as Larry Summers championing unions’ roles in tackling inequality and an August Gallup poll showing Americans’ are increasingly viewing unions favorably.
Senate and House Dems Intro New Bill to Strengthen Union Rights:
Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Bobby Scott introduced the WAGE Act this week, which would strengthen protections for workers seeking to exercise their collective voice at work. As AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka explained in an op-ed to The Hill, “The very best way to raise wages and turn the tide back in favor of working people is to protect and strengthen their right to speak out together, whether they are seeking to form a union or not. The WAGE Act would do exactly that.”
“That burger flipper’s job matters as much as yours”
In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed, Lara Granich, director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, responds to elected officials who dismiss the value and importance of service and food sector jobs. She writes, “Our economy runs on every kind of work — from cleaning bathrooms to writing computer code. Those who do the work that keeps our region thriving also need to be able to take care of their loved ones and lead a decent life. So let’s recognize and value the dignity of all work and make sure it sustains our families.”
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Fast food workers are coming together all over the country to fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. We work for corporations that are making tremendous profits, but do not pay employees enough to support our families and to cover basic needs like food, health care, rent and transportation.