Wednesday, November 11, 2015

meanwhile, on the non-BLM, no-mandingo side of the occupy 2.0 protest movement...,

LATimes |  Nearly three years ago, a group of about 200 workers at McDonald's, Taco Bell and other New York City fast-food restaurants walked off the job and rallied for higher wages.

It was widely described as the largest series of demonstrations ever in the fast-food industry.

Fast-forward to Tuesday, and the so-called Fight for $15 movement seeking better pay for fast-food and other low-wage workers has spread to what organizers say are 270 cities across the U.S. All three Democratic presidential candidates weighed in with support on Twitter after rallies began. The governor of New York and the mayor of Pittsburgh issued orders Tuesday that will lead to a $15 minimum wage for all government workers.

How the once-fledgling campaign has captivated national political discourse is a testament to the uneasiness still felt by many Americans left out of the recovery from the Great Recession. Although jobs have continued to grow since the depths of the downturn, earnings for lower- and middle-income workers have not.

By galvanizing efforts around fast-food workers — people who many interact with on a daily basis — the movement's organizers, backed in part by the nation's second-largest labor union, have worked to change the public perception of low-wage work.

"For many of us, these are workers who we see every day, yet they're invisible," said Harley Shaiken, a UC Berkeley labor expert. "What the Fight for 15 has done is give faces, names and personal stories that many, perhaps most, working Americans can identify with."

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has been the same since 2009, and efforts have stalled in Congress to increase wages. But at the state and local level, there has been an unprecedented wave of action to boost wages since the movement began in 2012.