Labor rights advocates’ Fight for $15 has helped millions of workers

“The success of the movement for higher wages... only reaffirms how far out of step lawmakers in Congress are from their constituents, as they continue to refuse to raise the federal minimum wage.”

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Yesterday, new research came out showing just how effective grassroots labor rights advocates’ hard work in the #FightFor15 has helped tens of millions of workers. 

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) wrote there had been $150 billion in raises for 26 million workers, with $76 billion going to workers of color since 2012. 

Since the movement began, dozens of cities and counties have raised their minimum wage to $15, or are on the path to do so, and many corporations are stepping up and changing their minimum wage to $15 as well. 

According to Common Dreams, the victories won by the Fight for $15 have been particularly instrumental in helping to close racial and gender-based pay gaps.

“The Black and brown workers leading the Fight for $15 and a union have heroically transformed public discourse on wages, worker power, and workplace democracy—while achieving major policy wins and taking on exploitative corporations,” says NELP executive director Rebecca Dixon.

Women have also been positively affected by this movement. As the report notes, the fight for $15 has boosted women’s earnings by $70 billion. 

There are still 20 states who have not raised their minimum wage despite this highly effective organizing from activists. To those, NELP is calling out Congress to pass the Raise the Wage Act of 2021.

“Without congressional action, underpaid workers in states that follow the federal minimum wage will continue to be guaranteed only a poverty wage of $7.25. These workers, who are disproportionately workers of color, will fall further and further behind other workers around the country,” writes the report. 

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