The streets of Chicago were filled with thousands of low-wage workers this week who were supported by members of PEF’s affiliate the Service Employees International Union. Most of the workers were from fast food corporations such as McDonald’s. In New York, the momentum among fast food workers is also making headlines as they are uniting and asking the state’s Wage Board set up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make a $15 wage floor for their industry.
PEF President Susan M. Kent with other elected PEF leaders addressed this issue at the 25th People’s State of the State demonstration in January and has continued to be an advocate for fair wages for everyone.
“We need a $15-an-hour minimum wage. People who are working and people who aspire to work need to have a livable income. One benefit is less dependency on government assistance. And, a decent paycheck can help raise the self-esteem of a person and inspire him to advance through hard work.,” Kent said.
“The economic climate in New York has dramatically improved with billion-dollar windfalls. This is the time to stimulate the economy with a $15 minimum wage, and also to address the needs of state workers who keep New York running. The PS&T contract team I appointed is devoted to getting a contract with economic gain. Our PEF members, many of whom work in understaffed agencies and facilities, also need to be fairly compensated and respected for the needed public services they provide, and that every community deserves.”
“These demonstrations across the nation are a sign of the time that people are united and will fight for what is fair.”