As the struggle to increase the minimum wage intensifies across the country, one group in Sacramento has decided to take things up a notch this year, promising a “major escalation” in the months ahead. On April 15th, the Fight for $15 campaign is sponsoring a rally in the capital city as part of its ongoing efforts to bring together an otherwise unorganized labor force.
Given the absence of labor unions in the worlds of fast food and retail, grassroots campaigns like Fight for $15 are often the only game in town. Many so-called “entry-level” employees are not represented by a union, a reality that many corporations would like to stay just the way it is.
The federal minimum wage, first enacted under President Roosevelt in the 1930s, was set at 25 cents an hour. A lot has changed since then and the minimum wage is meant to be adjusted when necessary. In fact, it has been increased numerous times already, being met nearly identical criticisms each time. The minimum wage peaked in 1968, at almost $11 when adjusted for inflation. Since then, wages have been on a gradual but steady decline. The last minimum wage hike was in 2009, and talk of another increase is often met with the same arguments used since the Roosevelt administration.
Despite considerable conservative backlash, frustration and financial stress continue to move the conversation forward. For those who believe $7.25 an hour just isn’t enough, it’s time for a raise, and this is the year to do it.
More information about the Sacramento rally will be available in the weeks ahead.