Issued November 29, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the Fight for $15 Day of Action:
“Working families are fed up with not being able to make ends meet no matter how hard or how long they work while corporations continue to make record profits on the backs of their front-line workforce. Today, we continue the fight started by courageous fast-food workers through the Fight for $15 four years ago as thousands of working people join together in actions nationwide calling on corporations and politicians to deal with our economic mandate and restore good jobs with good pay.
“Our modern economy is fueled by our nation’s service sector. These workers -- child care and home care providers, airport workers, and higher education faculty -- care for our parents and children and educate our future generations. Their work gives American families and consumers the choice and freedom to do their jobs and care for their families. But the value of this work is not reflected in their pay. Too many service and care workers who work full time still struggle to make ends meet for their families.
“Thanks to the power of workers coming together through collective action in the Fight for $15 movement, 22 million workers have seen their wages raised. Every time voters are called to pass wage increases on the ballot they support raises, as they did in Maine, Arizona, Colorado and Washington in 2016. Raising wages puts money in the pockets of working people who spend it in their communities; that's good for our families, good for our economy, and good for America.
“Twenty years ago, service sector jobs used to be good-paying jobs on which families could live a middle-class life. Now, the rules have been rigged to favor corporations over workers, and deregulation and subcontracting has led to the destruction of opportunities to work hard and get ahead. Additional obstacles for communities of color and immigrants are perpetuated by a system of injustice, and are exacerbated by toxic pollution emitted by corporations profiting from corrupting our air and water.
“We won’t back down. Together we will continue to fight in the streets until greedy corporations and the politicians who favor them over working people take steps to restore the chance for all American families to get ahead. We will not stop until all work is valued and every community has the chance to thrive.”