This year has seen a vast array of movements in America, whether they have been properly covered by news media or not, is another question. In a previous post some of those movements were touched upon. A reoccurring theme that may have started in November of last year is the fight to increase the nation's minimum wage. Fast food workers across the nation have truly galvanized the movement calling it the "Fight for 15". In their demands: the right to unionize and provide a wage of $15 an hour to maintain a living wage."I used to work at McDonald's making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? It's like, 'Hey if I could pay you less I would, but it's against the law."-Chris Rock
In Massachusetts, a similar movement has stirred the residents of the state to raise the minimum wage in a
.@OFA_MA and @RaiseUpMA volunteers are working for a better minimum wage in Massachusetts. Join them: http://t.co/kTmu99RElw
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 9, 2013
Working on this campaign I have had the opportunity to meet with the mayor's office and a state representative of MA. In both meetings the officials expressed support in a wage increase and earned sick time. In the case of the state rep, it was expressed that a bill to do such a thing has been stuck in the state house for some time. There is only so much the government can do without pressure from the people it represents.
While there haven't been many people that I have come across that oppose earned sick time. The politicians in Jersey City, NJ decided already that is makes sense to grant workers sick time.
“Paid sick leave will help working families in Jersey City so they won’t have to choose between missing a day of work and caring for their own health or that of a family member,” Mayor Fulop said in a statement.One of the greatest challenges while getting signatures has been how a wage increase can hurt small businesses. However the Small Business Majority released a statement showing 67% of small business owners across the nation support a raise in the minimum wage.
"Most of the businesses that participated in the survey had gross annual revenues under $500,000... 80% of the business owners were white; 60% were male; and 46% self-identified as Republican or Republican-leaning independent..." -CBS NewsThe minimum wage increase would help the prosperity of thousands of residents across the state of Massachusetts. And earned sick time will no longer make employees have to choose between heeding the doctor's orders or putting food on the table.
A version of this post was featured in The Enterprise on October 18, 2013 in the "Your Opinion" section titled: Citizens must rise up to help raise minimum wage in Bay State
Written by: E. Rey