By Nigel Roberts
Labor forces are planning the largest rally in decades—their latest effort in an uprising against low wages. On April 15 these workers will join their voices to demand a $15-per-hour living wage from rich industries that they say are pinching pennies on salaries.
The Fight for $15 movement burst onto the scene in late 2012 with several hundred fast-food workers. Three years later, the 2-million-member Service Employees International Union is spearheading the movement, according to the Associated Press.
With SEIU’s involvement, the movement has drawn a range of other low-wage workers, including child care providers, retail employees and home health care providers.
“I felt like I didn’t have a voice,” said Kimberly Thomas, a 50-year-old home health worker in Raleigh, N.C. “But then I saw the movement develop and asked, why can’t we do this? Wow, I have a voice now.”
For 15 years, Thomas has provided one-on-one care to elderly patients in their homes, from morning to night, at least 16 hours a day. She’s highly trained to handle health care emergencies, follow through on physicians’ orders and even provide basic physical therapy. Yet she earns just $10 per hour, without overtime and no health care.
“I feel like I don’t have a choice,” she lamented. “I can’t afford not to work. If you want to work in this field, you have to accept this.”
Read More Home Health Workers Are an Invisible Force in the ‘Fight for $15’ Movement – The Root.