San Jose underpaid workers join nationwide strikes Thursday

Media Advisory for: April 14, 2016
Contact: Khanh Weinberg, (408) 921-0098

San Jose Underpaid Workers to Join Biggest-Ever Day of Strikes, Protests Demanding $15 Nationwide & Union Rights
Momentum Builds off $15 wins in CA, NY, Showing Power of Workers Organizing

San Jose – With momentum building off historic $15/hr wins in California and New York, San Jose underpaid workers will join the biggest-ever day of strikes and protests on April 14 to demand $15 nationwide and union rights. Fast-food workers will go on strike in San Jose and join local home care and child care workers for a massive protest Thursday.

The action in San Jose is one of a record 300 planned worldwide where tens of thousands of underpaid workers, including those working in fast-food, home care, child care, airports and higher education will demand corporations pay workers wages they can live on and pay their fair share of taxes.

WHO: Fast-food, home care, child care, and other underpaid workers
Elected leaders
Community and clergy allies

WHAT: Strike and protest in San Jose with local fast-food, home care, child care, other underpaid workers to demand $15/hr nationwide, union rights

WHEN: April 14, 2016, 11AM

WHERE: McDonalds, 2680 Story Rd. San Jose

Background:

American families are being forced to scrape by because big corporations are ripping off workers, ripping off taxpayers, and ripping off communities. To get richer and richer, big corporations manipulate the rules to avoid paying fair wages and their fair share of taxes, forcing working people and taxpayers to foot the bill. The workers’ protests, timed to hit before Tax Day, will highlight how workers and communities are being starved of the money needed to build a bright future, and are left with impossible choices over how to care for their children and elderly parents and how to meet their basic expenses.

McDonald’s, the world’s second largest employer and industry leader in the fast-food and service economy, is a symbol of what is wrong with the economy. The corporation is driving a race to the bottom that is undercutting wages across the economy and resulting in nearly 64 million workers being paid less than $15. The workers will also highlight how McDonald’s tax avoidance around the globe hurts governments, workers, taxpayers and consumers.

Industry-wide, low pay forces more than half of fast-food workers to rely on public assistance to support their families, costing taxpayers $7 billion a year. And across the economy, nearly three-quarters of people aided by public assistance are members of a family headed by a worker, costing taxpayers more than $150 billion.

The April 14 strike comes on the heels of an unprecedented series of pay increases, with workers in California and New York winning $15/hr, and the largest employer in Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, announcing it will pay workers $15/hr. Nursing home workers in Pennsylvania also recently won $15/hr. Cities including Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have raised their minimum wage to $15/hr. Home care workers in Massachusetts and Oregon won $15/hr statewide minimum wages. Companies including Facebook, Aetna, Amalgamated Bank, and Nationwide Insurance have raised pay to $15/hr or higher; and workers in nursing homes, public schools and hospitals have won $15/hr via collective bargaining.

With wins piling up across the country, the Fight for $15 is building a growing awareness that $15/hr is the minimum wage level American workers in every part of the country need to survive and pay for the necessities to support their families. And the workers in the Fight for $15 are demonstrating the power of coming together in an organization to fight for higher pay.

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Service Employees International Union, Local 521 represents 40,000 public- and nonprofit, private-sector workers in the central Bay Area region and in the Central Valley. Under a Community First vision, we are committed to making sure the needs of our community, and the vital services we provide our community, come first. We believe our communities thrive when residents, leaders and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to our safety, health, and well-being.

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