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SEIU to ramp up “Fight for 15″

Monday, Aug 28, 2017

* Tribune

In an effort to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner and other Republican politicians in the Midwest, the union behind the Fight for $15 campaign is launching a voter engagement drive to mobilize its members to get people to the polls.

The Service Employees International Union and its Fight for $15 campaign plan to launch the initiative at a Labor Day rally in Chicago. The rally, one of several across the country, will include a march on the American Hospital Association to highlight hospital workers, who are new to the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and are expected to play a key role in the voter drive.

Over the 14 months leading up to the fall 2018 election, SEIU members and workers participating in the wage campaign will pledge to volunteer 40 hours of their time to reach out to disengaged voters and encourage them to turn out for candidates who support union priorities such as a $15 minimum wage and universal health care. […]

SEIU plans to roll out the voter initiative across a dozen battleground states mostly in the Midwest, including Illinois and Michigan, as well as Florida, Colorado and Nevada. Paid canvassers as well as “tens of thousands” of SEIU and Fight for $15 members are expected to participate. There are 150,000 SEIU members in Illinois.

The governor, of course, vetoed the $15 minimum wage hike on Friday.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Piece of Work - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Go for it SEIU. However, you may want to check the impact in Seattle. If that is not convincing, you may want to use that Google thingy and search automation in fast food restaurants.

  2. - City Zen - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    ==SEIU members and workers participating in the wage campaign will pledge to volunteer 40 hours of their time…==

    Apparently, the fight for “Fight for 15″ isn’t worth 15.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    If the fight to raise the floor to $15 an hour, or roughly $30k for full time employment is going to succeed, proponents will need to address the fact that it will raise wages for jobs above that as well. If the McDonalds worker goes to $30k a year, it devalues say the clerical worker currently getting $30k and they will want $40k, and so on and so on. The economic impact to employers is much, much larger than just to the ones employing people at minimum wage, and that money has to come from somewhere. That somewhere will be price inflation.

  4. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:07 am:


    You can’t automate home care. What a ridiculous comparison.

  5. - Sue - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Just what Zillinoisillinois needs. MO just prohibited its local jurisdictions from setting higher min wages. St Louis actually has to roll back from 10. SEIU cares about dues not workers

  6. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Heaven forbid we pay those that care for the most vulnerable higher wages, right Sue? $15 an hour gets you $31,000 for the year at 40 hours a week. Hardly living high on the hog for taking care of our most vulnerable.

  7. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    ==MO just prohibited its local jurisdictions from setting higher min wages. St Louis actually has to roll back from 10.==

    Missouri has several bad ideas. It’s hockey team is another one.

  8. - City Zen - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    I’m not against a higher minimum wage, but I wish they’d be a bit more transparent about the entire cost. On top of the hourly rate, there’s a 7.65% premium the employer pays for payroll taxes. Plus unemployment taxes (SUTA) will rise. For places that hire a lot of seasonal or part-time employees, that can add up.

    On the flip side, if this passes, how does that impact govt assistance? I’d assume a living wage would reduce the need for rent subsidies and SNAP benefits? Strange that I never hear proponents of Fight for 15 tout these savings.

  9. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:26 am:


    I caught my error. This was the general increase.


  10. - Cornbilly - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Demoralized, home care workers are only a very small percentage of minimum wage workers, and if they are caring for their own child, one could argue that they shouldn’t be paid at all.

  11. - Mr B. - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    We absolutely need a higher minimum wage. You cannot make ends meet easily even at $15 per hour.

  12. - Generic Drone - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    We need to increase the minimum wage. Trickle down economics is a scam.

  13. - Sue - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    No we need to raise skills not minimum wage rates. The 6 million vacant jobs in this country aren’t filled because the labor pool skill level is not up to par. All minimum wage increases end up doing is increasing automation and then there are fewer low skill jobs

  14. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    When we do eventually implement universal health coverage, I wonder how SEIU and all the other unions fighting for it will explain the drastically reduced benefits to their members? Trading in platinum union perks for the equivalent of Medicaid, brilliant.

  15. - zatoichi - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    To follow Zen, if you are making $10 an hour you probably use Medicaid or maybe spouse health coverage. Go to $15 and Medicaid goes away. Who covers your health costs then? Go free through ER and pass the cost along to others? Health insurance at our place costs about $4 an hour. So that $15 hr salary can easily cost $23 with SS/UE/WC/Taxes. When retail prices get bumped to cover costs what have you gained?

  16. - Ron - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    Illinois does not exist in a vacuum. A $15 minimum wage is a terrible idea that will make Illinois even less competitive.

  17. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    Virtually 100% of the increase goes straight into the Illinois economy, buying goods and services, and paying taxes. And those receiving entities put a large portion of those proceeds into the the Illinois economy. Every dollar of increase has an effective impact of about two. So if that’s bad for the Illinois economy, what’s good?

  18. - Responsa - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    ==Virtually 100% of the increase goes straight into the Illinois economy, buying goods and services, and paying taxes. And those receiving entities put a large portion of those proceeds into the the Illinois economy. Every dollar of increase has an effective impact of about two.==

    I fear you may be overly optimistic based on recent real-world experience with “15″.

  19. - igotgotgotgotnotime - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    I fear you’re mistaken. Brush up on the shortcomings and distortions in that study, an outlier, in that it contradicts all previous studies, and has not been peer reviewed.

  20. - Generic Drone - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 6:01 pm:

    So Sue, are you for free college for the poor? You see, they cant afford college on minimum wage in order to get those “skills” you mention. Raising the minimum wage will energize our economy.

  21. - Kankakee Kid - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 6:13 pm:

    Why not use Data Analysis provided by the MIT Living Wage site to determine a minimum Wage. Seems to make sense to me as different areas have different cost of living. The Living Wage for a single person in my hometown on Kanakaee is $10.25 per hour whereas the Living Wage is $12.33 in the Chicago area where I live now.

  22. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 6:17 pm:

    Whatever the minimum wage is, the reality is it will never be enough. If it raises to $15.00, how many of you will be asking for a corresponding increase in your hourly wage or salary from your employer? That will trickle up, and in the long run offset the benefit of an additional $6.75 will be diminished. SNAP and other assistance programs will recalculate the earnings that qualify and those at the minimum wage rate will still qualify.

    I am not saying the minimum wage should never be increased, it should be maintained with inflation. But we really need to think about raising the skill levels of people so they can receive a higher wage than just existing on minimum wage without skills.

  23. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 6:22 pm:

    An afterthought, you do not have to go to College to get skills that will pay you more than minimum wage. Construction is an honorable profession, and pays pretty good if you are willing to learn and work hard. I learned skills thru the Army, and even being in combat arms for most of my career I learned skills that started me well above minimum wage. College is not the only answer to learning skills, there are many more ways.

  24. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    This is a lazy and unfair way to fix a more complicated problem. SEIU is a union representing all providers. It is their solution to providing justification to be SEIU members. They are shorting real hard working professionals in this field with this obsolete nonsense of a hourly wage.

    Fix this by recognizing those who really do their jobs, from those who show up late, watch TV and do a little light housework. Provide real wages to those who are nursing extreme-need clients.

    Break it down. Be honest. Start making care-givers be truly accountable. Every client has differing needs. Every provider does a differing job. Measure it up. Break it down. Give the great professionals the rewards of their hard work. Give the beginners, slackers and the lazy a reason to step up and do their jobs better. A living wage shouldn’t be a guarantee, even in this vital field.

    SEIU wants this, but this won’t do what’s necessary to give these professionals a fair wage.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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