Al-Jazeera reports that the movement for the rights of fast food workers and for a $15 minimum are gaining a lot of momentum. Strikes are expected to happen all across the country on December 4th, 2014.
The facebook page of Fight for $15 PA declares a “Fast Food STRIKE for $15, supported by airport and home care workers” will take place tomorrow at 11:30 at Arch Street Methodist Church.
The $15 Now movement got a big bounce last year after the election of Kshama Sawany, a socialist and activist from Seattle, who made a $15 minimum wage a key pillar in her platform. Seattle, now has the highest minimum wage in the country. The first raise of $11/hr. will come in April 2015 for large employers, jump to $13/hr. in January 2016, and again to $15/hr in January 2017.
Likewise, Philadelphia activists have heard some good news from local attorneys who speculate that Philadelphia may be able to get a city only minimum wage increase past our regressive state legislature. The question of whether Philadelphia could pass a separate minimum wage, different from the rest state, has been in contention since the last time the minimum wage was increased in 2006. At that time, the PA Legislature also passed a “preemption law,” to seemingly prevent progressive Philadelphian’s from getting ahead of the rest of the state for workers.
With the recent announcement of recommendations for paid sick leave, 2015 could be a big year for economic justice in Philadelphia. That would be a relief after years of watching other large cities breaking new ground with progressive experiments while we were stuck trying to keep school and libraries open.