Lifting Up Workers: Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Days and Worker Justice
ACCE Institute works with tens of thousands of California community members who are low wage workers and struggle every day to put food on the table and pay their bills. ACCE Institute is providing leadership training and organizing support to low wage workers who are building their collective power and asking policy-makers to help make employers treat their workers fairly and with dignity and respect.
ACCE Institute has been working with the “raise the wage” coalitions in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The work of these groups, to educate their elected officials, has seen huge success with higher minimum wages being enacting in many of the major cities across the state. A few highlights:
- The work of Lift UP Oakland, a coalition of labor and community organizations, resulted in an the minimum wage in Oakland increasing to $12.25, workers with paid sick leave. The measure won with a landslide victory for Oakland working families—81.2% of the Vote! It is estimated that over 48,000 Oakland low-wage workers will see an additional $1 billion in wages over the next 5 years.
- In San Francisco, the Campaign for a Fair Economy, a local labor and community coalition, built public and political support for a higher minimum wage. In November 2014, 77% of the voters voted in support of Proposition J on the ballot. The Minimum Wage is now on a path to reach $15 and then continue to grow stronger with guaranteed cost of living increases. A UC Berkeley Report estimated that 142,000 workers, or approximately 23% of San Francisco’s workforce will receive a raise of $2,800 per year a total increase of $397 million in 2014 dollars by 2018. More than half of all workers of color will get a raise.
- In Los Angeles, the Raise the Wage campaign had a huge victory in June 2015, with the City Council enacting tiered minimum wage increases that get to $15 / hour in 2020. The County of Los Angeles then followed suit (covering unincorporated LA County). The coalition is continuing to press for policy changes that will protect workers from Wage Theft and provide all workers with at least a minimum number of Paid Sick Days.
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