For Immediate Release
Contact: On behalf of the #WageAction Coalition
Alex Bloom | firstname.lastname@example.org | 617-646-1013
Massachusetts Workers to Join Largest-Ever Day of Global Strikes and Protests as part of Fight for $15
Healthcare, Airport, Fast Food, Education and Retail Workers to rally at the State House and march on key employers to highlight the need for a $15/hr wage and better working conditions on April 14
BOSTON, MA – In the wake of historic victories in California and New York that will bring a $15 minimum wage to millions of Americans in these states, workers in Massachusetts will join underpaid workers across the globe for the largest-ever day of strikes and protests on April 14th.
Healthcare, transportation, education, airport, retail, fast food and human services workers will come together to demand $15/hour and union rights during a comprehensive day of action in Boston that will be highlighted by a rally outside the Massachusetts State House at 3:30 p.m. Following the rally, workers and their community allies will march to the doorsteps of McCormick & Schmick’s and McDonald’s – two of the area’s worst purveyors of poverty wages and poor working conditions.
Other actions will take place throughout the day. Fast food workers plan to strike, while students and faculty will rally for a fair contract at Boston University. Early educators and human service workers will hold a lobby day at the State House to put a spotlight on poverty wages in their industries. Healthcare workers and advocates will also host a panel on the impact of the Fight for $15, prior to joining the grassroots lobbying efforts on Beacon Hill. Throughout the day, workers will highlight legislation pending in the state legislature that would bring a living wage to tens of thousands of Massachusetts employees in a variety of industries.
These actions are part of a global wave of strikes and protests, which are expected to take place in hundreds of cities in more than 40 countries around the world. While workers have made major advances in the Fight for $15, many challenges remain. Too often families are struggling to scrape by, even as they foot the bill for big corporations that manipulate the rules to avoid paying fair wages and their fair share of taxes. As a result, workers are faced with near impossible choices about how to care for their families and afford basic necessities. Nearly 64 million Americans – 46 percent of the country – are paid less than $15/hr – including nearly 1.2 million workers in Massachusetts, equaling approximately 36 percent of all workers in the state.
WHO: Fast-Food, Human Service, Transportation, Retail, Airport, Restaurant, Educators, Nursing and Home Care, Construction Workers and more. Elected leaders. Community and clergy allies, including groups affiliated with the Massachusetts-based #WageAction Coalition.
WHAT: Fast-food strike in Boston, followed by early educator event, healthcare panel, Boston University action. Later in the day, workers will rally outside the State House and march to doorsteps of McCormick & Schmick’s and McDonald’s with workers to demand $15/hr., union rights
WHEN: Thursday, April 14, 2016
WHERE: 6 a.m. Worker Strike (Location TBD)
11 a.m. Early Childhood Educators Action & Lobby Day (outside Governor’s office, Room 280 at State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston)
11 a.m. Healthcare workers gather at 1199SEIU & 12 p.m. panel with Healthcare Workers on Fight for $15 Impact (150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester)
2:00 p.m. Healthcare workers will deliver information on key homecare and nursing home legislation pending in the state legislature (Massachusetts State House)
2:00 p.m. Students and faculty to rally for fair contract at Boston University (BU’s Marsh Plaza, 735 Commonwealth Ave., Boston)
3:30 p.m. Fight for $15 Rally and March at the Massachusetts State House (outside State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston)
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The #WageAction coalition includes a range of Massachusetts community, religious, and labor groups united in support of the Fight for $15 and in the fight against income inequality. More info at http://www.WageAction.org.
The Fight for $15 started in New York City in 2012, when 200 brave fast-food workers walked off their jobs, demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. The movement has spread to 300 cities around the world and to industries across the low-wage service economy including home care and child care, and elected leaders from both sides of the aisle are lining up to support the Fight for $15. Once considered a long shot, $15 is now a reality in cities like Seattle, SeaTac, San Francisco and Los Angeles. New York and California adopted $15 for the underpaid workers, thousands of Massachusetts personal care attendants have won $15/hr. and it is the minimum pay at leading companies like Facebook and Aetna. More info at http://www.FightFor15.org.