Time to give credit where credit is due. It was not the noblesse oblige of individual politicians or the Democratic Party that brought us the $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, it was the labor movement. Surely, the governors of New York and California and their fellow Democrats in those statehouses deserve credit for listening to the cry for economic justice and having the good sense to do the right thing, but the historic victory of the Fight for $15 that we have just celebrated would never have come to pass without the bold vision and prolonged struggle of working people standing together and demanding what many called impossible.
As Steven Greenhouse rightly noted in the New York Times, back in 2012 when the Fight for $15 began “many scoffed at their demand for $15 an hour as pie in the sky.” Nonetheless the labor movement led by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) pushed long and hard, starting at the local level. [Read more…]