This Saturday: Philly’s 4th Low Wage Workers Council Meeting

Across the country low wage workers are organizing for $15 And A Union.

On April 11th Philadelphia’s Low Wage Workers Council is holding it’s 4th public meeting. 12-2pm At 4029 Market St

These meetings are open to all workers as a space to learn about organizing history, share common experiences and skills.

This Saturday the Council will be discussing the importance of STRIKES and MASS ACTIONS throughout history. We’ll be talking about the 1934 Teamsters strike in Minneapolis, the Memphis Sanitation worker strike in 1968, and the Fast Food Strikes of today!

All Out On the 15th!

Then next Wednesday April 15th will see the largest action ever of low wage workers fighting for a $15/hour minimum wage, with 60,000 low-wage workers and supporters in over 200 cities participating. Fast food workers will be joined by adjunct college faculty, retail and airport workers, home health care aids, and groups formed out of the historic #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Lets go all out in Philly on the 15th!

It’s a #15Spring!

Starting in December 2012 with a strike of fast food workers in New York City, this movement has spread like wildfire across the US and has shown the way forward in the fight against historic levels of inequality. According to a January Hart Research poll, 63% of the country now supports a $15 federal minimum wage. Support is even higher in most big cities.

Everywhere, anger at corporate greed – and the extreme wealth and racial inequities – is reaching a boiling point. The fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage has the potential to become a powerful mass movement uniting low-wage workers demanding union rights, people of color standing up against racism, and young people facing a dead-end future.

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Temple Students & Employees Kick-off $15 Campus-wide Wage Campaign

[Philadelphia, PA]– On Wednesday, students and employees of ‘15 Now Temple’ launched one of the first campaigns in the nation for a campus-wide $15 minimum wage. 15 Now members read a letter to President Neil Theobald co-signed by students groups, student workers, food service employees and adjunct professors that put forth several key demands for economic justice in North Philly.

Temple education student Zoe Buckwalter said, “Philadelphia is the poorest major city in the US. As one of the largest institutions in Philadelphia, Temple can and should take an active role in fighting poverty by paying all campus employees at least $15/hr, including student-workers, work-study students and contracted and subcontracted employees.”

After several speeches by students and Temple staff, the group attempted to enter Sullivan Hall to deliver the letter to President Theobald. They were met with campus security, and the president refused to receive any student representatives in his office.

The 15 Now letter demands that Temple immediately pay all campus workers at least $15 an hour, including work-study students and student-workers. Regarding contractors who refuse to pay $15 an hour, students  recommend the university seek to contract with companies that will fulfill Temple’s stated commitment to North Philadelphia with a $15 wage standard.

Temple senior Sarah Giskin says, “I am attending Temple full time and can’t make ends meet. I work several jobs making no more than than $10 an hour. I’ll also be $80,000 in debt when I leave. I don’t even know if I’ll find a job where I make enough money to pay my loans back. Temple needs to stand beside and commit to building a just economy on campus and in the city. “

Additionally, 15 Now Temple demanded Temple publicly endorse a $15/hr minimum wage in Philadelphia for every worker in the city. 15 Now Temple stands in solidarity with the United Academic of Philadelphia to demand that Temple University allow adjunct professors to vote on their union immediately.

Temple student Pele Irgangladen explained, “Our campaign is one of the first in the country to start pushing for a $15 campus wide minimum wage, but students across the country will join us in 2015. Today was just the start of our campaign at Temple, and we’ll keep pressing for $15 until we win.”

Philly’s $15 Minimum Wage Hearing March 4th!

On Wednesday, March 4th ’15 Now Philly’, SEIU 32BJ, and fast food workers are hosting a hearing in front of Philadelphia City Council on the $15 minimum wage in Philly!
It is a huge victory for low wage workers all over Philadelphia that our elected officials will hear the economic, moral, and legal case for implementing a significant raise in the minimum wage.
But for our hearing to have the most impact, we need to pack City Council chambers on March 4th. We need to fill the chamber from the floor to the balcony to show City Council we can’t wait a $15 minimum wage for all workers.
We need YOU present at the hearing to win $15 an hour.
$15 Minimum Wage City Council Hearing
Wednesday, March 4th 
10am
City Hall
Please RSVP as soon as possible so we can anticipate our numbers!: 15inPhilly@gmail.com

PA Ruling Class Sees Pitchforks Coming, Advances Laughable Bill to Preserve Poverty Wages

Reject Wagner’s Poverty Wage ‘Compromise’

Across the United States a surging movement of the working class is fighting for at least a $15 an hour minimum wage. Fast Food and Walmart workers are organizing and striking for a $15/hour wage, alongside mass demonstrations like the MLK Day of Action, Resistance and Empowerment on January 19th, 2015. During this historic march, 7,000 people took the streets of Philadelphia calling for  racial justice, education funding, a $15/hour minimum wage, and union rights.

Americans overwhelmingly support this call for dramatically higher wages: a recent poll by the National Employment Law Center found 63% of Americans support a $15 an hour minimum wage.  Here in Philadelphia, economists broadly recognize the need for a minimum wage of at least $17/hour for all Philadelphia workers, just so a parent can afford a two bedroom apartment in the city. For companies in Philadelphia, a $15 an hour minimum wage is a bargain.

Even Tea Party PA Republican Senator Scott Wagner can no longer deny the power of this movement. Senator Wagner recently introduced a  weak tea bill to phase in a laughable increase in the State Minimum wage to $8.75 over three years, while locking in a substandard $7.25 ‘training wage’, and only a small increase in the tipped minimum wage (which should be totally eliminated). Senator Wagner’s bill also fails to clarify the power of municipalities to raise wages on a local basis.

This bill is a naked attempt to cut across the public debate on raising the wage and divide the forces fighting for an increase by offering a ‘reasonable’ compromise. But for working class families in Pennsylvania, Wagner’s ‘poverty preservation’ bill is way too little, and way too late. The terms of this poverty wage bill are an outright insult to workers who have been organizing for $15 an hour and a union, taking risks at their workplace, confronting abuse managers and organizing their coworkers for mass strikes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

All organizations fighting to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania need to come together to oppose this rotten bill. Senator Wagner acknowledges the inevitability of a minimum wage hike and wants to lock in poverty wages in PA for as long as possible. We initiated our campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour based on what working class families need for basic economic security, not on what we thought was a ‘reasonable’ compromise. It is up to those opposed to raising the wage to propose ‘compromise’ language. We do not bargain with ourselves.

We know one thing for certain: this senator and other politicians who continue to support poverty wages clearly represent the interests of the wealthiest 1%.  At a time when corporations make record profits and CEOs make upwards of ten thousand dollars per hour, we must unite to fight for what working class people need. We can no longer accept the unprecedented levels of income inequality in our nation.

The fight for $15 an hour minimum wage marches forward in Philadelphia and across PA. Senator Wagner’s bill shows that business interests see the glare of pitchforks on the horizon.  The polls will continue to tell what we already know: the movement for $15 is coming. And we will not be stopped.

15 Now Solidarity Statement with Today’s Demo against Keystone XL Pipeline Construction

Just like the struggle for a universal $15 an hour minimum wage, fighting for a healthy sustainable planet is a working class issue. From the toxic underground plumes near the oil refineries in South Philadelphia to the new plans to make Philadelphia an “Energy Hub” and privatize PGW, working people bear the brunt of the impact when corporations profit off environmental destruction.
Instead of Keystone XL, we need a massive federal green investment program to combat global warming. President Obama must push for aggressive investment in renewable energy and new efficient technologies to replace fossil fuels. Workers in the phased out industries should be offered full pensions or job retraining at union rates of pay. Economists have proven over and over that the Keystone XL pipeline will not create a significant amount of permanent jobs that will benefit American workers.
Locally, investment in sustainable energy would create thousands of jobs in Philly. This type of federal investment would open huge opportunities for our youth and the unemployed in communities across the country. Together with a $15 an hour minimum wage and the guaranteed right to form unions our country would radically reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for Philadelphians.

 Furthermore, projects that damage our environment overwhelmingly impact workers who already live in poverty. Families of color and families in low income neighborhoods suffer devastating health problems caused by pollution related to fossil fuel production and industrial waste.
As we fight for a global economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy elite, working class people must continue to tie together the common issues of income inequality, environmental sustainability, racism, and the right to health and healthcare. $15 Now is proud to stand behind workers protesting the KXL pipeline and rejecting the notion that we must sacrifice our health and environment for short term gains for the elite.

15 Now Serves Breakfast to Support National Fast Food Strike

On Thursday, December 4, 15 Now supported fast food workers in Philadelphia who walked off the job demanding 15 now and union recognition.  The strikes in Philadelphia were part of a coordinated day of action with thousands of other workers across the country in about 190 cities ranging from Los Angeles to Milwaukee.

15 Now showed support by serving breakfast and coffee to community members outside of McDonald’s in Northeast Philadelphia.  Throughout the morning, over 160 members from the community stopped by to sign a petition for support, share their stories, and warm up with some 15 Now breakfast.  Organizers successfully deterred people from buying breakfast at McDonald’s by engaging with people about the campaign and handing out nearly 100 breakfast sandwiches and cups of coffee.  “We have to take care of each other,” said 15 Now organizer Loretta Gary who handed out food for hours in the morning.

Throughout the day, thousands of low-wage employees who walked off the job may have orchestrated the largest fast food worker strike to date.  This action marked the eighth national strike since the movement began about two years ago in New York, and has since spread globally to 32 other countries.

These brave and militant actions have called attention to the low pay and working conditions of fast-food chains who can afford to pay their workers more than poverty wages.  Workers are redefining what they are worth and the message is resonating across the country.  We support our striking brothers and sisters and the fight can only grow from here!