Protesters made their way down Broad Street this morning to show solidarity with a global fast food worker strike currently underway and to advocate for raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The protesters, formed loosely from union workers and low-wage workers, are a part of a national initiative, 15 Now, that believes all workers deserve at least $15 an hour. The grassroots initiative originated in Seattle, Washington, where it has made the most progress.
But some could argue that the stakes are even higher in Pennsylvania. The Washington state minimum wage is already $9.32 an hour, while the Pennsylvania minimum wage is $7.25, the lowest amount allowed by the federal government.
The Philadelphia chapter of 15 Now also supports the ballot measure on the May 20 primary ballot to amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to raise the minimum wage for city subcontractors, in addition to contractors, which Mayor Nutter already secured through an Executive Order. Though the group does have some reservations:
“While Philly 15 now supports a ‘YES’ vote on ‘Question 1’, we also recognize that the ‘Philadelphia 21st-Century Minimum Wage Standard’ is inadequate and contains many loopholes that will still allow employers to pay workers substandard wages,” reads a post on the 15 Now Philly Facebook page.
15 Now Philly will hold its first “Open Assembly” to decide how it will move forward next week on Tuesday at 6:00 PM inside the John F. Kennedy Behavioral Health Center.
Notification handed out by protestors with information on the upcoming Open Assembly
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