That's the message thousands of working people in cities across the country sent to lawmakers and businesses that pay low wages on Tuesday, July 24. SEIU members in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Virginia and Washington -- just to name a few --were among the thousands who rallied for a minimum wage increase.
View action highlights SEIU members took part in as a part of the National Day Of Action To Raise The Minimum Wage after the break.
It's been three years since the last increase to the federal minimum wage and four years for California. Even though the minimum wage in California is .75¢ higher than the federal wage, earning $16,640 a year is not enough to sustain a family of four above the poverty line.
In Los Angeles today, dozens of union members from SEIU Locals 1877, USW-W, UHW and 721 joined hundreds of protestors for a creative action outside of the Burlington Coat Factory on Imperial Hwy and Crenshaw Blvd.
A coalition of SEIU Florida, Stand UP Florida, FPSU, Awake and Occupy collected 620 petitions asking Senator Allen West to support minimum wage increase. When the group went to deliver the petitions, the Senator's campaign office refused to accept them...
At the rally to raise the minimum wage in Seminole, activists had a few *choice* messages for U.S. Rep. Bill Young of Florida's 10th District
In Delray Beach, SEIU Florida Public Services Union collaborated with Florida New Majority to organize a Minimum Wage Day of Action at Dunkin Donuts on West Atlantic Avenue. Some 30 people took part in the protest and it certainly gained the attraction of passers by, customers and workers at Dunkin Donuts.
At the rally to raise the minimum wage in Chicago yesterday, members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana took the opportunity to show a member of Governor Quinn's staff just how much the 99% need a raise.
Time and again, U.S. Representative John Kline (MN-02) has stood in the way of an increase in the minimum wage. On Tuesday, July 24, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members and community activists gathered at his office in Burnsville and called on him to "Live Like the Rest of Us."
In Syracuse, SEIU Local 200UNITED and SEIU1199 UHE hosted a press conference in conjunction with Mothers Against Gun Violence, Faith Leaders and Citizen Action to call out Rep Buerkle, Ann Marie [NY-25] on her statement that "Fast and Furious" was the most important issue to her constituents. Speakers at the presser drew a correlation between gun violence in impoverished neighborhoods and economics; ending with a call to raise the minimum wage and raise people out of poverty.
SEIU Virginia 512 members teamed up with community allies across the state of Virginia today to mobilize three successful actions as part of the National Day of Action to raise the minimum wage.
In Fairfax, union members gathered across the street from Wal-Mart to stand up for a raise for the 99%. It was fantastic, with lots of support from people in the community.
In Norfolk, SEIU members met with Shannon Kendrick, the District Director for Congressman Scott Rigell. Julia Newton, a Home Care provider from Norfolk and Vice President of SEIU Virginia Local 5, presented the delegation's points about the need for Rigell to support Congressman George Miller's bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.55 an hour. Afterwards, the group rallied for raising the minimum wage outside the Congressman's office.
In Fredericksburg, dozens of members and community allies rallied outside Congressman Wittman's office and spoke with his staff about the urgent need to raise the minimum wage. "The 99% deserve fair treatment and wages. It's time to raise the minimum wage so that everyone can live comfortably," said Sheila Jones, a Home Care provider from Fredericksburg.
More than 50 SEIU members and community members gave Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna their "two cents" outside of his downtown Seattle office yesterday. Protestors sported over-sized "pennies" that had the likeness of McKenna with the message "In low wages I trust."
The group had 12 pennies since as Attorney General, McKenna tried to block a 12¢ increase in the state minimum wage.
A Minimum Wage Is Not A Living Wage
As the National Day of Action unfolded, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry issued a statement highlighting Republican's out-of-touch priorities:
"At a moment when millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet - not to mention get ahead - right-wing members of Congress are considering extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This is only the latest example of how out of touch right-wing lawmakers are with the day-to-day lives of ordinary people ... A hard day's work should be valued by our elected officials, not overshadowed by a rabid drive to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations no matter the cost to our economy, communities and families."
We're happy to report that, led by CREDO Action, our coalition was able to gather nearly 240,000 petitions in support of raising the minimum wage. And we're not stopping there!