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SEIU and the road to a fair minimum wage #default

SEIU has a long history of standing with workers in their fight for fair compensation. As the cost of living increases but the minimum wage does not, SEIU's worker support continues. SEIU has rallied in the pursuit of fair wages with workers in a variety of vocations including fast food workers, janitors, adjuncts and healthcare workers.

In 1996, SEIU participated in demonstrations advocating for a minimum wage increase. As seen in the photograph of the Minimum Wage Rally on May 23, 1996 in Washington, D.C., workers demonstrated to raise the minimum wage.

minimum wage demonstration

The signs held by workers call on the federal government to increase the minimum wage, as well as express frustrations still felt today like, "CEOs get Millions - Workers get the Shaft." Photo by Cindy Reymer/SEIU

The second photograph was taken during a minimum wage rally in Washington, D.C., on July 9, 1996.

minimum wage rally in Washington, D.C.

Former SEIU President John Sweeney stands with a group of protestors as then-AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka (now AFL-CIO President) addresses demonstrators. Photo by Cindy Reymer/SEIU

These rallying efforts paid off for workers in August 1996, when President Clinton signed the Minimum Wage Bill, increasing the minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15 over the course of the following year.

Minimum Wage Bill signing

SEIU President John Sweeney may be seen on stage (first row, far left), while President Clinton signs the bill into law. Photo provided by Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

As the struggle continues, these glimpses of SEIU's previous contributions to workers' successful endeavors are inspirational. Standing together does culminate in real, positive change for America's workers.

For more images of SEIU's history, see the SEIU Image Galleries at the Walter P. Reuther Library website: http://seiu.me/reuther

Follow the SEIU Archivist on Twitter: @SEIUArchivist

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