Fight for 15


Courtesy of Mike Blake

Workers from various corporations rally in hopes of raising the minimum wage.

Amanda Chung, photojournalist

Bernie Sanders, Senator of Vermont and former presidential candidate, has been one of most prominent figures in a movement that has recently garnered attention from the public: Fight for 15. Minimum wage employees from across the nation have united to protest unfair wages.

Researchers from the National Low Income Housing Coalition have concluded that “only 0.1% of US minimum wage workers can afford a 1-bedroom apartment.” Even working full time, it is highly unlikely for a minimum wage worker to live comfortably (CNBC).

Senator Sanders has had a busy agenda the last couple of months, introducing a bill in Congress, speaking at rallies, and meeting with CEOs. Evidently, his hard work has paid off, as Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, announced that his company will be raising their minimum pay to $15. Sanders went to Twitter to praise Bezos, tweeting: “What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be a shot heard around the world. I urge corporate leaders around the country to follow Mr. Bezos’ lead.”

Not only has he managed to influence Amazon, he has also succeeded in pressuring Disney to raise their wages too after he traveled to Anaheim during the summer for a rally. Workers in California and Orlando all immediately experienced raises to their pay to $13.25 an hour. The $15 starting rate will go into effect on January 1, 2019 (CNN).

Ashley Bui-Tran (12) believes that the minimum wage should be raised. “The rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer,” she says. “This is simply unfair, and the only way to make it right is for big corporations to pay their workers more.”

This month, Sanders is targeting fast food companies, specifically McDonald’s. He wrote a letter to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, stating that “if McDonald’s raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour and respected the constitutional rights of [its] workers to form a union it would set an example for the entire fast food industry to follow.” If the Senator’s win streak continues, we could expect to see more corporations reforming their wages in the near future.