Minneapolis Community and Labor Organizations fight for $15/hour and Racial Equity

A growing movement to win a $15/hour minimum wage in Minneapolis is bringing together labor unions, community organizations, low-wage workers and activists to fight for a $15 minimum wage for all workers, by building a movement to address Minneapolis’ worst-in-the-nation racial inequities head-on.

Unions endorsing the ballot initiative to win a $15/hour minimum wage in Minneapolis include:

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This Saturday, May 14, labor unions endorsing the $15 ballot initiative campaign will mobilize their members to collect signatures for the $15/hour ballot initiative. Mona Meyer, president of the Communications Workers of America State Council, explains why Twin Cities labor unions must lead the fight for $15. “It is just plain wrong that a corporation’s workers don’t get paid enough to meet the basic needs in life. If corporations are unwilling to correct that problem, then we need to take direct action together to fix it.”

Union members and supporters alike are invited to join the Labor for $15 day of petitioning. Volunteers will meet at 11:00 am at the CWA Local 7200 Union Hall, 3521 E. Lake Street. After a brief rally and training at the CWA Local 7200 Union Hall, 3521 E Lake Street at 11 am. “$15 is a frontal assault on race and gender inequities. By rebuilding a fighting labor movement with $15, unions can lead the fight for social justice,” said Kip Hedges, a 15 Now Organizer and former baggage handler. With polls showing 83% support, the struggle to win $15 can forge powerful connections between labor and working-class communities and lead a “race to the top” for all workers in Minneapolis.

Southside Community Rallies for $15

On Friday May 6th, the Bryant Neighborhood Organization (BNO) and theCentral Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) organized a South Minneapolis community rally and concert for $15.

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Passed Presents performing at Friday's Rally & Concert for $15 

Recently, Minnesota ranked first in yet another measure of racial disparity. According to a report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, the Twin Cities has the highest racial home-ownership gap of any major metro area in the nation. “Systemic racism is hurting our community now more than ever as we experience 12% unemployment and 33% poverty in Bryant and Central Neighborhoods,” explained Marjaan Sirdar, chair of the BNO board of directors, on why a $15/hour minimum wage is so important for thesehistorically African-American South Minneapolis neighborhoods.

Blanca, a McDonald’s worker organizing with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), said she’s gone on strike four times, winning small wage increases. But Blanca says she and hundreds of workers across the city will continue to fight for $15, sick days and ultimately, union rights.

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City Councilor Cam Gordon was excited to sign the ballot initiative for $15/hour -- and excited to collect more signatures!

Minneapolis City Council can raise the minimum wage to $15/hour through an ordinance at any time, but as speakers explained at Friday’s event, Minneapolis can’t wait any longer to end poverty wages. Council member Elizabeth Glidden’s office shared a statement on why Minneapolis needs to lead the fight for $15 in Minnesota: “Raising the minimum wage at the regional or state level is preferred, but we can’t wait forever for these options.” “The 15 Now movement is spreading across the country, added City Councilor Cam Gordon. “After we get this done in Minneapolis, let’s just watch. I think we’re going to see this in St. Paul, in Duluth, across the state.”

 

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