Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

What do Tom Douglas and fast-food (maybe) have in common?

Photo: mtume_soul via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: mtume_soul via Flickr Creative Commons

A higher minimum wage.

There’s lots of new buzz over the minimum wage, with fast food walk-outs and protests here in Seattle and in cities across the country. The common theme: people are calling for decent wages that can support today’s working families.

Probably don’t order a McWhatever on August 29th. A nationwide strike of fast-food and retail workers is set for August 29th. Despite working full time, many workers still have to rely on food-stamps and other public services because their paycheck don’t cover basic needs like rent, food and health care. Previous (smaller) strikes by Seattle’s fast-food workers this past May-and in many other cities-ares raising public awareness as workers call for a $15/hour minimum wage.

Using the ballot box to improve working conditions at Sea-Tac Airport. If passed by SeaTac voters in November, the Good Jobs Initiative will raise the minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers to $15/hour, and ensure paid sick leave and better job security (in the face of constantly changing contractor-employers). Alaska Airlines and the Washington State Restaurant Association lost round one of their lawsuit against the measure.

Tom Douglas finally saddles up on a brave horse. After working for years with the Food Lifeline meals program, Seattle

restaurateur Tom Douglas says he plans to increase pay for cooks and bakers in the kitchens of his 16 local restaurants to…wait for it…$15/hour! Dishwashers will go from $10 per hours to $12. Why the change? “Some of my own employees are a missed paycheck away from being in that line.” (Plus, paid sick days didn’t actually cost as much money as he thought it would. Told ya!)

“We know there is no better way to pull a child out of poverty than increasing the minimum wage, “ said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, as he signed a bill last week raising the state’s minimum wage by 75 cents over the next 18 months, from $8.25 to $9 an hour.

The federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage from a (long stagnated) $7.25, to $10.00/hours, with provisions in place to increase alongside cost of living.




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