We joined the Fight for $15 on 4/15!

521 in Fresno FightFor15Nearly two-thirds of Americans are paid less now than in 2002. We stood together to call for higher wages, union rights, better jobs, and economic justice for all.

Check out the actions on Twitter @seiu521 and Facebook: facebook.com/seiu521

In Fresno, hundreds of students, community members and local home care, child care, state, county and farm workers staged a protest at a McDonald’s across the street from Manchester Mall. Led in prayer by Reverend B.T. Lewis, demonstrators peacefully chanted outside of McDonalds, calling for better wages for the most severely underpaid.

“I’ve worked in home care for a long time. I love my job, but I’m barely getting by. I can’t really plan for retirement because wages just aren’t sustainable,” said Vicky Vang, a Fresno home care worker. “That’s why I’m here today standing with my fellow home care workers and the Fresno community. We work hard to care for other people, but can’t even take care of our own. It’s time to lift the wage floor and fight for a better future for everyone.”

In San Jose, hundreds of students, community members and local home care, child care workers and security officers staged protests at a McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and El Pollo Loco in East San Jose. Beginning with a prayer, demonstrators peacefully chanted outside of McDonalds, calling for better wages for the most severely underpaid. Several McDonald’s workers stepped outside in the middle of their shifts to join in the demonstration.

“I’ve worked in fast-food for 15 years. The wages are so low, I have three jobs to be able to support my family,” said Pablo Narvaez, of San Jose. “I’m participating today to fight for better wages for everyone and for better working conditions for workers.”

“In Silicon Valley, the cost of living is so high, it’s a struggle to survive. I love the work that I do as a health care worker, but nobody can live the American Dream if our wages don’t keep up with the rising cost of living,” said Elba Arciniega, SEIU 521 member, and Patient Business Services Clerk at Valley Medical Center.

Elba added: “Fight for $15 is about lifting the wage floor and building a better future for everyone. I’m so proud to be a part of this movement. We won’t stop until every hard working person is able to make enough to pay the bills and get the respect everyone deserves on the job.”

Watch Elba speaking in this video.

Come back soon for more pictures and videos.
If you were there, post your own pictures and use the hashtag #FighFor15.

SEIU members joined the Fight for $15 because:

  • We know a falling wage floor means that our employers often demand that we accept less, too.
  • We can send a message that it’s wrong for people to work, but still be blocked from getting ahead.

Media Coverage

“San Jose and Oakland fast-food workers join protest for $15-an-hour wages,” Mercury News

“Fresno workers rally to raise minimum wage to $15,” Fresno Bee

“Workers Rally for $15 Wage at Fast Food Restaurants in San Jose,” Silicon Valley Debug

Bay Area workers demonstrate for higher minimum wage, Daily Californian

“Fast Food Workers Rally at UC Berkeley for Wage Hike,” ABC 7 News

“Minimum Wage Protesters Moving Up Shattuck Avenue Downtown,” Berkeley Patch

“Fast-food strikes widen into social-justice movement,” USA Today

“In Test for Unions and Politicians, a Nationwide Protest on Pay,” New York Times

“Fast Food Workers in 236 Cities Pull Off Largest Strikes Yet as Other Low-wage Workers Join Fight,” In These Times

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One Response to “We joined the Fight for $15 on 4/15!”

  1. Sylvia. Narvaez says:

    Any marches/rallies in Gilroy?

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