For Immediate Release
Jeff Hall, #WageAction, 617-284-1102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Crawford, Raise Up Massachusetts, 857-753-4132, email@example.com
Boston, MA – Raise Up Massachusetts and the #WageAction coalition, which are supporting the Fight for $15 in Massachusetts, today issued the following statement after Senate Bill No. 1024, An Act to establish a living wage for employees of big box retail and quick service fast food chains, which would raise the wages of large retail and fast food store employees to $15 an hour over 3 years, was passed by the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.
“On a day when hundreds of low-wage workers are marching to the State House to demand a $15 minimum wage, we are very pleased to see this bill, which would provide stability to low-wage employees at large companies, move to the Senate. We look forward to working with the entire Legislature to move the bill forward and allow these employees, many of whom are parents, to support their families.”
“Our state’s economy works best for everyone when all working people are able to meet their basic needs. This economic security depends on access to good paying jobs. No one who works full-time for a large, profitable corporation should be paid so little that they cannot make ends meet.”
“For employers, higher wages mean more efficient workers and less employee turnover, making it easier to recruit and retain workers and helping their bottom line. When workers have more money in their pockets, they spend it at small businesses in their neighborhoods – helping those local businesses grow and create more jobs. To build a strong economy in all communities across the state, workers need to earn a living wage so they can support their local businesses and provide for their families.”
An Act to establish a living wage for employees of big box retail and quick service fast food chains would require these corporations to pay their employees at least $15 an hour by 2018. This higher wage applies only to large corporations with over 200 employees, and phases the increase in over three years.
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 250 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 adopted $15 for the state’s fast-food workers, and it is the minimum pay at leading companies like Facebook and Aetna. Learn more at http://www.FightFor15.org.
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. Learn more at http://www.WageAction.org.
Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that works for all of us, collected over 350,000 signatures in 2013 and 2014 on behalf of two ballot initiatives: raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing earned sick time for all Massachusetts workers. In June 2014, the Legislature passed and the governor signed legislation giving Massachusetts the highest statewide minimum wage in the country. Raise Up Massachusetts then led the campaign to ensure access to earned sick time for all workers in the Commonwealth by passing Question 4 in November 2014. Now, Raise Up Massachusetts is working to create a paid family and medical leave program, invest in transportation and public education with a tax on annual income above $1 million, and make sure that people who work full-time for large, profitable corporations can earn a living wage of $15 an hour. Learn more at raiseupma.org.