Fight For $15 To Join Chicago Teachers Union’s April 1 Strike

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz for The Chicago Tribune – Teachers won’t be the only ones walking off the job April 1. Fast-food workers organized by the Fight for $15 group plan to join the Chicago Teachers Union’s one-day strike, connecting their push for higher wages with school funding. It will be the first time fast-food workers strike at the same time as the teachers, though the organizing groups, part of a coalition of labor and community organizations in the city, have stood together in protests and rallies before.

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#FightFor$15 Overwhelms Republican Debate In Miami

By Giovanna Vitale for Fight For $15. An enormous group of underpaid Floridians busted through police lines in Miami Thursday evening on their way to GOP debate, where they’re calling on the candidates to stand with the nearly four million Floridians who make less than $15. Chanting “we work, we sweat, put $15 in our checks,” the group stormed through the University of Miami campus and up to the front gate of the BankUnited Center–as stunned Republican debate goers looked on.

The crowd of hundreds forced police to shut down Ponce de Leon Avenue, the main street in front of the debate venue.

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Fight For $15 Is Inevitable, Will Not Kill Restaurants

By Jim Sullivan for Restaurant News – However you view the $15-an-hour minimum wage issue — it’s the death of the industry or yet another progress barrier that government has thrown in our way that we’ll overcome — it’s real, it’s big and it’s not going away. But will it kill the foodservice industry, as some say? Here are the relevant facts: Last year, minimum wage increases occurred in 20 states. Cities like Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco raised the stakes even higher, mandating a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2018, with their states likely to follow.

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Service Workers Had To Pay To Stay Employed

By Llowell Williams for Care2. On paper, federal law in the United States requires all employers to ensure their employees are paid the minimum wage — $7.25 an hour, as guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Service workers are legally supposed to earn this amount, whether via direct wages (the federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour) or a combination of wages and tips. Simple enough, right? In practice, however, this system is ripe for employee exploitation, as a recent U.S. Department of Labor probe in Michigan shows.

The owners of Sophia’s Pancake House, a diner with locations in Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor, Mich., were discovered to have actually required waitstaff to pay $2 per hour from their tips merely to remain employed.

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Fight for $15 Movement Hits Iowa

By MacKenzie Elmer for The Des Moines Register – An international underpaid workers strike visited Iowa for the first time Thursday, the day of the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses. Some 150 workers in fast food, child care and other low-wage industries took over westbound East University Avenue during the lunch hour. Bearing signs and yelling, “We work. We sweat. Put 15 on our checks,” marchers flushed-out the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s. A Des Moines police car arrived at McDonald’s after the group made its third circle around the restaurant, flashing its lights and sirens.

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Newsletter: An Opening For People Power

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The reality that corporatism cannot deal with the urgent problems faced in the US and around the world is becoming more obvious. People power is growing as more see that the current system is unable to operate in a functional way. People power is having an impact, forcing the country to listen. How do we create the transformation we need? The UN climate talks, COP21, are now recognized widely as a failure, at best a framework to be filled at a later date. Why were countries unable to confront climate change? The dominant economic and political power in the world is the United States. We are ruled by corporate power which is corrupted by Big Energy and as a result the US ensured a bad agreement.

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Appeals Board Upholds Minimum Wage Hike To $15

By Matthew Hamilton for Times Union – The state Industrial Board of Appeals has upheld the planned increase to a $15 minimum wage for the state’s fast food workers. “No one who works hard should ever be condemned to a life of poverty and that’s why we are continuing the fight today,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who called for a wage board to consider increasing the pay for fast food workers earlier this year. “We will not stop until we ensure a new standard of economic justice for all workers – and when New York acts, the rest of the nation follows.” The IBA shot down the National Restaurant Association’s arguments that internet entrepreneur Kevin Ryan was not an appropriate employer representative on the wage board…

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Newsletter: Past And Present Myths Are Indivisible

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This week two remarkable reports came out about US militarism. The first by James Lucas, documented that the US has killed 20 to 30 million people in 37 nations in wars since World War II. The second by Nicholas Davies showed the impacts of US militarism since 9/11 finding 120,000 air strikes in seven countries, occupation of Afghanistan for 14 years, Iraq for over 8 years, and destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen, 1.6 million people killed, mostly civilians, and 59.5 million people driven from their homes.US military why did you kill my family

This is quite a remarkable record.

These reports coincided with the celebration of Thanksgiving. Popular Resistance published eight articles debunking the founding myths and highlighting reality of genocide against the Indigenous to take their land and slavery of Africans brought to the United States for free labor. There are deep problems in the US culture. They are built on myths that cover-up genocide, slavery, racism and poverty wages. All transformations begin with a revolution of the mind. We need to change the American consciousness.

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Black Friday Protest Puts Pressure On Walmart

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. On Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the Organization for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and allied groups called attention to Walmart’s low wages and austere working conditions at the downtown Walmart in Washington, DC.Our Walmart DC Black Friday

It marked the fourth consecutive Black Friday activists organized against Walmart’s corporate policies, which they say take advantage of workers, while enriching the Waltons, majority shareholders of Walmart Corporation.

The Walton family is the wealthiest in the U.S. with over $148 billion, according to Forbes. Their fortune is equal to the combined wealth of 41% of American households. This year about 200 Walmart employees organized a nationwide 15-day fast leading up to Black Friday. The novel tactic was dubbed “Fast For $15,” and began on November 12 to bring attention to Walmart employees struggling to put food on their table.

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Newsletter: Youth Recognize Their Power & Build It

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Youth are rising up. They have been showing leadership on multiple fronts of struggle. They see a broken system dysfunctional government that is corrupted by money. It is unable to respond to the crisis of climate change; the reality of systemic racism; students graduating with massive debt in a poor job market and so many other issues. Politicians aren’t the only voices with power. We have power, too. And we have more power when we act together. Young people don’t live single-issue lives. We live at the intersection of the most pressing problems today. Our movements are connected and our purpose is huge. Martin Luther King described the civil rights movement as a time when the “people moved their leaders, not the leaders who moved the people.” If enough of us push together toward a new vision, the world will begin to move.

That is a message we should all take to heart. We should continue to exercise our power, continue to fight injustices and as we do so, our power will grow.

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Raising Minimum Wage Is Smart Politics And Smart Economics

By Richard Correa for Black Star News. Raising the minimum wage makes good business sense whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent. It should not be a partisan issue.

Across the political spectrum, voters in my home state of Colorado and other key swing states – Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia – strongly support raising the federal minimum wage. This includes 77 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents and 97 percent of Democrats, according to a recent poll by McLaughlin & Associates and Oxfam America.

Raising the minimum wage is a personal issue for me – from growing up in a low-income family to running my business today. I know that raising the minimum wage will be a win-win for workers and business.

My mom and dad taught me the value of hard work. But their minimum wage paychecks left them struggling to make ends meet.

My mom worked in the school cafeteria at lunch and cleaned rooms at night. Minimum wage should cover the basics – not leave workers struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof overhead.

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One Year From Election, Fast-Food Workers Wage Biggest-Ever Strike

By Giovanna Vitale and Jack Temple for Fight for $15 – Fast-food workers will wage their biggest-ever strike Tuesday – one year from Election Day – with walkouts hitting a record 270 cities from Detroit to Denver. The strikes will culminate in protests in 500 cities, where fast-food, home care, child care, and other underpaid workers will amass outside city halls—local symbols of political power— to demand that elected leaders nationwide stand up for $15/hr and union rights.

The strikes and protests come as underpaid workers nationwide vow to take their Fight for $15 and union rights to the ballot box in 2016 to show candidates of all political stripes that the nearly 64 million Americans paid less than $15 are a voting bloc that can no longer be ignored.

In addition to the strikes and city hall protests, auto parts workers, farmworkers, grocery clerks, FedEx drivers, nursing home workers and others will show their support for the Fight for $15 at rallies planned for 1,000 cities across the country, sending a message to candidates that higher pay and union rights are urgent issues for our country that need to be addressed now.

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Fast-food Workers Plan New Strike, Aim To Sway Election

By Paul Davidson for USA Today – Fast-food workers, already a potent political force, are planning their largest nationwide strike yet next week and this time will leverage their crusade for a $15-an-hour wage in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election. The group representing the workers, Fight for $15, plans on Tuesday to stage protests at restaurants in 270 cities, the most since it began organizing the demonstrations three years ago. Striking fast-food and other low-wage workers will then gather at local city halls, kicking off a campaign to prod their colleagues to vote next November for local, state and national candidates who support the $15 pay floor.

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Richard Wolff: How Workers Can Take Over A Business

By Andrew Smolski for Counter Punch – In this interview, we discuss wages, a pertinent current topic with the ongoing struggle for $15/hr, stagnating worker incomes, and what will be TPP’s further attack on wages in the United States. More importantly, what began as a discussion of wages quickly developed into a much broader critique of the current system’s political economy, and a way to fundamentally alter the way we produce, distribute, and consume. It is not enough to bargain with capitalists. We must instead look to how workers can take over the means of production and employ them for the benefit and wellbeing of all.

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The Fight For $15 And Black Lives Matter Go Hand In Hand

By Rebecca McCray for TakePart – A black woman. A fast-food worker. A student. A parent of a child slain by police. These could be four different identities, or they could be four hats worn by one person. The overlapping and shared desire for better access to justice and equality those roles might share was at the core of a conversation on Monday between organizers from the Fight for $15 and Black Lives Matter movements. “I don’t have to be a worker today and a queer person tomorrow and a woman tonight. I can be all of those things at once,” Alicia Garza, cofounder of Black Lives Matter, told an audience at City University of New York’s Murphy Institute.

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