Thousands of Americans doing all kinds of work for too little pay are heading to Richmond — the ex-capital of the Confederacy — to fight for for justice. Economic justice. Immigration justice. Racial justice.
Representatives of the country’s nearly 64 million workers paid less than $15 per hour will be there — McDonald’s cashiers and airport baggage handlers, truck drivers and early education teachers, retail employees and home care workers. And so many others.
We’ll be confronting our nation’s biggest, most important issues — the crisis of today’s low wages and the effects of racist policies that have held back working people of color. In anticipation of the convention, McDonald’s workers in Richmond walked off the job on Thursday and went on strike to demand $15 an hour and union rights.
“Home care workers like me have never been treated with the respect we deserve,” Lauralyn Clark, a 53-year-old home care worker from Ruther Glen, VA. “For far too long, we were left out of basic labor protections and denied minimum wage and overtime pay. It’s been over one hundred fifty years since we abolished slavery, but we still have slave wage jobs where we’re not paid enough to survive.”
“Decades of attacks on working people who organized unions mean that jobs that traditionally provided a path to economic security for some families now no longer do,” said David Wildbourne, library staff at East Carolina University. “America’s legacies of racism and corporate greed have always been intertwined, and because of those forces we’re all in the same boat now. Our chance for opportunity, if it ever existed, has been destroyed. And so we are coming together in Richmond to fight for an economy that works for all of us, regardless of income or the color of our skin. Our Fight for $15 is changing America and we won’t stop until we win a living wage and a path to a union for every working family.”