Justice

The Fight For 15 Plans Biggest Strike Yet

Low-wage workers announced plans to stage nationwide demonstrations for higher wages and union rights on Tuesday in 270 cities nationwide—the day is expected to be the largest coordinated wage demonstration in U.S. history, according to organizing groups.

RELATED: Fight For 15 Preparing Biggest Nationwide Strikes To Date

Workers spanning several professions, including fast food, home and child care, and farm and auto parts, plan to also highlight their clout as a cohesive voting bloc by staging protests in front of city halls, and at the fourth Republican primary debate in Milwaukee, which is coincidentally on Tuesday.

"Elected leaders are sitting on their hands while we're paid so little that we are forced to rely on public assistance to support our families," Tonya Harrington, a home care worker from Durham, N.C., said last week. "At $7.25 an hour, I can't scrape by and I just can't wait any longer for more. We need higher pay by any means possible — whether it's billion dollar corporations like McDonald's raising pay, politicians increasing minimum wages, wage boards, or other methods. And we need it now," Harrington, who said she would vote for the first time this election, said.

A recent survey conducted commissioned by the pro-labor National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that 70 percent of unregistered voters would vote if a candidate supported a $15 minimum wage and union rights. The survey found that issues of higher pay and union rights could hold sway over approximately 48 million potential voters who are paid less than $15 an hour.

I've worked at McDonald's for 22 years. Here is my story.

Bart has worked at McDonald's for 22 years. They have only increased his wage 29 cents per year. Learn about his #FightFor15.

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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This past April, nationwide wage and labor protests were the largest demonstrations to date, as well as a number of other high-profile worker-led demonstrations calling for high wages and union benefits. Research published around the same time pointed to the public cost of the millions-strong low-wage worker demographic. According to a highly-cited University of California, Berkeley study, low-wage workers receive about $127.8 billion in federal aid, and $25 billion in state aid each year.

Since protests last December and April, employers like McDonald's have done little to address workers' concerns.

"It's very hard to live on this salary," McDonald's employee Jemere Calhoun told ATTN: in December 2014. "You pretty much know that you start in the red. As soon as I get my check, I already know that it's not enough. So I have to take care of what's the most pressing matter at the time and then think of ways to fill that financial void."

But with some businesses like big box retailers and even McDonald's raising wages for some employees, in addition to 2016 political campaigns that are focusing on minimum wage issues, workers' demands stand a better chance of being heard and heeded this time around, perhaps especially as they wrangle their voting ranks.

RELATED: The 3 Most Outrageous Minimum Wage Memes

"This movement is creating a new voting bloc that frankly has too often been ignored by the political process," said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress last week.

Check out ATTN:'s video of Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU labor union, responding to commenters on our Facebook page.

Why the Fight for 15 Dollars an Hour Affects All of Us

The President of the one of the biggest labor unions in the country responds to our Facebook comments about the Fight for 15.(With Mary Kay Henry of the SEIU)

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, April 15, 2015