During Labor Day, the Fight for $15 movement organized protests in 300 cities across the US. In Chicago, hundreds of fast food workers, hospital employees, and airport workers advocated for higher wages and better benefits through a series of walkouts and marches. Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) demonstrated with supporters of the national Fight for $15 movement. Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, arguing that it would negatively affect businesses and reduce jobs.
Fast food workers in Boston went on strike Labor Day to highlight their demand for a $15 minimum wage. In Massachusetts, the $15 minimum applies to home care workers and select companies that have chosen to offer it. A planned November 2018 ballot proposal would incrementally raise the minimum from $11 to $15 by 2022.
The $15 minimum wage has been implemented in New York City, California, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis.
Trump Taj Mahal, the beleaguered Atlantic City, New Jersey, hotel-casino once owned by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, will close for good after Labor Day weekend. The Taj Mahal’s owners—including billionaire investor Carl Icahn—blame striking UNITE HERE Local 54 workers for preventing a “path to profitability.” WARN Act (layoff) notices were sent to the casino’s more than 2,400 workers announcing they would lose their jobs October 10. The Taj would be the city’s fifth casino to close since 2014.
A thousand of the casino’s service workers have been on strike since July 1. According to Local 54 President Bob McDevitt, “For a few million bucks, [Icahn] could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike.”
In a statement, McDevitt called out Icahn for his promise to put $100 million into the Trump Taj Mahal. “He told the workers they were the most important asset of the property. Now, rather than negotiate with those same workers, he decided he would rather close down. We have not had an offer from Icahn since the evening of June 30, when workers rejected that proposal and voted to strike. It has been nothing but the usual my way or the highway from Carl Icahn. That’s not trying to reach an agreement; that’s punishing working people for standing up to injustice.
Labor Day should be a celebration of the achievements of American workers that also recognizes the strength of working families who join together to fight for living fair wages. Visit the website: http://labor-day-2015.hq.afl-cio.serenity-v1.aflcio.org/#!/events to find an event near you.