Could movement to raise wages and raise up Washington become key issue in state politics?
Fast food workers to strike for $15 and the right to organize, joined in support by airport workers, homecare workers, and other low-wage workers
On Thursday, December 4th, thousands of fast food workers in 150+ cities will strike for $15 and the right to organize — including here in our state, where there will be strikes and demonstrations for $15 in Bellevue, Kent, Aberdeen, and Olympia. Airport workers, homecare workers, and other poverty wage workers will be joining in support, adding their voices as the fight for $15 builds even more momentum.
The fast food strike comes on the same day the State House committee on Labor & Workforce Development holds a hearing on minimum wage, and just weeks after four were arrested outside Alaska Airlines Corporate Headquarters for engaging in civil disobedience over the airline's attacks on $15 in SeaTac.
As attention grows and support builds, the movement to raise wages and raise up Washington just might become a key issue in state politics this year.
Who: Striking fast food workers, joined by airport workers, homecare workers, and other poverty-wage workers unable to support themselves on the state minimum wage of nine dollars and change, along with diverse community supporters.
What: Launch strikes & demonstrations for $15, culminating in a strike support rally at the State Capitol to raise pay and raise up Washington’s economy.
When & Where:
Thursday, December 4, 2014, events all day:
Specific addresses will be released and posted at workingwa.org/strikepoverty early Thursday morning
6:00am - Bellevue: specific fast food location will be released Thursday morning
11:00am - Aberdeen:specific fast food location will be released Thursday morning
12:00pm - Kent: specific fast food location will be released Thursday morning
1:30pm - State House: Labor Committee hearing on minimum wage, John L O'Brien Building, Hearing Room D
4:00pm - Capitol Building: Rally begins (gather at 3:30). Speakers will include striking fast food workers, airport worker, and homecare worker, all calling for $15/hour and the right to organize.
5:00pm - Olympia: specific fast food location will be released Thursday morning
No matter where you work or where you live in our state, you can't support yourself when you're working for nine dollars and change. And you can’t grow an economy on poverty wages, either. That's why the movement to strike poverty is spreading well beyond SeaTac and Seattle — and it's why the crisis of poverty-wage jobs just might become one of the key issues in state politics next year.
Just this weekend, the Everett Herald published a blistering op-ed from a food bank volunteer calling for higher wages. In Bellevue, workers marched turned I-90 into WA-$15 in September, calling for the giant fast food chains to pay $15/hour and respect workers right to organize. In Olympia, City Council held a hearing on raising the minimum wage, and community leaders are signing on in support. In Tacoma, a grassroots petition for higher pay has already gathered thousands of signatures. In Kent, Issaquah, Bothell, and beyond, supporters have sparked community conversations with letters to the editor calling for higher wages.
New research shows that US household incomes declined from 2010 - 2012 — except for the richest few.
You need a full-time job paying $14.81/hour in order to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in Washington State, according to research by the National Low Income Housing Coalition — and more than $18/hour for a 2-bedroom.
Eight of the ten fastest-growing jobs in our economy pay poverty wages of less than $15/hour.
While 14% of Washington residents have incomes below the Federal poverty level, there are more than 5,800 people in our state with annual incomes about $1 million.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Washington unites working people to fight for a fair economy where everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. We launched the fast food strikes that sparked the fight for $15 in Seattle; we helped lead the successful campaign to pass $15 in SeaTac; and we work in coalition with unions, faith groups, and grassroots organizations to hold corporations & politicians accountable to community needs. For more information, check out our press kit.