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Fight for $15 is a transformative workers movement

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What do you call a “worker shortage” that turns into flood of applications when an employer offers higher pay?

Sounds more like a “wage shortage.”

Workers are waking up to the reality that America’s labor force has more negotiating power now than it has had in years, if not generations. And some, if not most, of the credit has to go to Fight for $15 – the most transformative labor movement of the 21st century.

We see this success in the way workers aren’t rushing back to low-paying jobs more than a year and a quarter after COVID-19 put our economy into a medical coma. Instead, they’re considering new professions in a way they didn’t dare to during the Great Recession a decade ago.

Republicans argue that overly generous support of unemployed Americans is making them too picky. That’s why 22 GOP-led states have pulled the plug on those benefits, hoping to force recipients back into the job market. But don’t expect this cruelty to work, especially when in-person school days and child care services are still spotty – and working for dismal wages could mean risking your life, and your family’s lives, during a pandemic.

Thanks to Fight for $15, workers have been taught to expect more. By “more,” I mean more than double the federal minimum wage, which last went up in 2009. Landlords won’t let you pay rents that were set in 2009, so why should you accept a fraction of what your time is worth in 2021?

Yes, it took us almost a decade........


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