Today marked three years since the minimum wage was increased to $7.25 per hour. Low-wage workers representing the fast food industry and employees of companies owned by Bain Capital came together in droves; ?joining hundreds of local janitors in downtown Houston marching in the heart of the financial districts during rush hour.
The day begin with uplifting chants as the crowd magnified by hundreds. Low wage workers told their stories of injustice, economic inequality and downright unfair treatment on the job. Each story was told with passion and emotion followed by loud cheer and praise from the crowd. Afterwards, the crowd of over 700 marched through the streets, passing buildings owned by corporations that barely pay their janitors and restaurants that charge nearly $8 for combo meals but pay their workers less than that per hour.
We pounded the pavement toting huge banners advocating for a minimum wage. Our goal was to call on wealthy corporations and elected officials to stop blocking legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour. Congressman George Miller plans to introduce legislation to raise the federal minimum wage later this summer. We have plenty of support from Texas Congressional Delegation members like Al Green (TX-09) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30). Not to mention the support of 73 other members of Congress.
By 6:15pm ?we reached the Houston Pavilion where ?local protesters were arrested for civil disobedience after blocking an intersection downtown. As our advocates were being hauled off by Houston Police, our allies announced the next phase of our low-wage fight; an amplified version of what happened today. We will not stop until everyone receives a livable wage.?and six where arrested for civil disobedience. ?The crowd demanded Houston Police Department free the activist but they were unwilling. Now it’s more important than every to fight for a fair economy.
The current rate is decades out of date and its purchasing power has diminished over time by 30% for low-wage workers. However, wealthy corporations continue to produce millions in profits. The?National Employment Law Project?released a great report on low-wage workers ?and the villainous large corporations that employ them. It puts our fight into perspective.
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