Skip to main content

Respect Us, Protect Us, Pay Us


Essential workers in 20 cities demand Congress pass $15/hr minimum wage, COVID relief

Mar 2 Actions Blog Post

In 20 states across the US,  SEIU members were joined by other essential workers as they demanded Congress pass both a $15/hr minimum wage and the American Rescue Plan which would provide desperately needed funds for Americans struggling during the pandemic. 

Through car caravans, banner drops, news articles, socially distanced rallies and protests, workers displayed signs saying “Respect Us, Protect Us, Pay Us”, and “COVID Relief Now!”, while sharing their stories of how they and their families have been struggling financially.

LaTonya Jones Costa, a long term care worker in Atlanta told New York Magazine that lawmakers need to deliver on promises they made to the Black women and communities of color who voted them into office. “I got my friends to come out and vote, and my family to come out and vote, because I believed that things would change if we changed the administration.”

One of the actions with a huge presence took place in Colorado. Local janitors, healthcare, airport, and state employees demonstrated at Senator Hickenlooper’s office to demand he publicly support the American Rescue Plan  and the Raise the Wage Act for a $15/hr minimum wage—which would increase wages for more than 500,000 people in Colorado.

“I’ve been a home care worker for the last 7 years, and I love the work that I do taking care of our most vulnerable in our community,” said Cody Jab, home care worker and member of Colorado Care Workers Unite. “Despite being on the front lines of this pandemic, no matter how many shifts I put in it’s a constant struggle to make ends meet. We need Senator Hickenlooper to respect Colorado’s care workers, invest in Medicaid, and pass a $15 minimum wage now.”

          · Read more in The Hill

          · See coverage of the Colorado event in the Denver Gazette

          · Read the entire New York Magazine article

          · See photos and videos of the events across the country on the Fight for $15’s Twitter Page

          · Check out this art installation at the DC event.