Amazon has just announced a minimum wage of $15 an hour for its U.S. employees. Given Amazon’s size and clout, the move Tuesday is a major victory for the Fight for $15 movement, which was spearheaded by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in 2013. Already, several states and cities have raised their minimum wages above the federal one. The online giant also said it will push Congress to increase the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25.
Tuesday, August 7 was historic for working people in Missouri. Wealthy corporate interests tried to use their money to rig the system in favor of the 1%. But Missourians rejected the cynical power grab by an overwhelming 2-1 majority. Something big is happening with America’s working people—something that will bring change—and last night was just the latest evidence of this groundswell.
In a comprehensive new report, How Today’s Unions Help Working People, EPI researchers detail how collective bargaining plays an essential role in today’s labor market, by raising working people’s wages and supporting a fair and prosperous economy as well as a vibrant democracy—and how workers’ freedom to join together and bargain with their employer is under attack.
As right-to-work laws proliferate, it’s worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy. No one was more important in placing right-to-work on the conservative political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.”