15 NOW in the House (and the Senate), demanding $15 minimum wage and restoring local control...we distributed posters and mic checked the hearing!

Nationally, fast-food workers, homecare workers, Walmart workers, airport workers, convenience store workers, public employees and others are coming together to fight income inequality by demanding $15 and union. Across the country, workers have engaged in walkouts and one-day strikes to make their demands. And here in Oregon, the fight to raise the minimum wage is heating up. In Portland, over 15,000 workers have already won and are on the path to $15, as part of our Portland Area Campaign for $15

On November 10th here in Portland, Janitors were highlighted in joining in the national day of action and Fight for $15!

We met at O'Bryant Square in downtown Portland and started with a brief march and creative action.  After the march, there was a brief rally with speakers from different campaigns engaged in the Fight for $15.

Join us and Fight for $15. Because no one who works should live in poverty.

Organized by 15 Now PDX, Portland Jobs with Justice, SEIU Local 49, SEIU Local 503, AFSCME, LiUNA Local 483, NAAME and others!
Workers speaking and organizational affiliation:

Ian McTeague (15 Now)
Rina Sundahl (CALC)
Johnny Earl (SEIU 503)
Linda Peterson (AFCSME 3214)
Daniel Williamson (Communist Labor Party)
Jason Nance (Lane County Democrats)

The victories keep stacking up for $15 here in Oregon and throughout the nation! New York fast food workers won $15, 24,000 Oregon homecare workers won $15, even the Democratic Party just added a federal $15 minimum wage to their national platform.

In Oregon, we have the opportunity to lead the nation and become the first state to win $15!

Locally we aren't waiting for legislators and ballot measures. 15 Now PDX is working with a local coalition to win $15 for 30,000 Portland workers through contract bargaining and new organizing. Join us and organize! Join us and Fight for $15!
For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Norton-Kertson, Media Chair, Portland Jobs with Justice and Organizer, 15 Now PDX, 503-724-3642,

Janus Youth Workers Win Union, Fight for $15

(Portland, OR) -- After a year of organizing, social workers at Janus Youth have won a union with AFSCME Council 75. Janus Youth has provided programs and residential care for homeless and drug addicted youth in Portland and Multnomah County for over four decades, and has grown into one of the largest non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Now that they have won a union, the workers at Janus Youth will begin the process of negotiating their first union contract with the non-profit. They already know at least one thing they are going to be fighting for in that contract, a $15 minimum wage.

“We perform social work vital to addressing the poverty and violence within our communities. Many of my coworkers are highly educated and saddled with enormous student debt. In spite of this, most of us make just over $10 an hour. We are worth more than that, all working people are worth more than that” says Christopher Zimmerly-Beck, a newly unionized relief worker at Janus Youth Programs. “We are really excited to join the fight for $15, and we aren’t going to settle for anything less. We understand that our victory will help win the fight for $15 for everyone in Portland.”

With rapidly increasing rent and a soaring cost of living, a self-sufficiency study by the University of Washington shows that a single mother with only one child living in Portland needs to earn at least $22.60 per hour in order to be able to afford all the modern necessities such as adequate housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and emergency savings.

“The cost of living is out of control here in Portland, and the rent won’t wait. We stand behind the Janus Youth workers, and our community will support them 100% in their upcoming fight for $15 and a fair contract,” says Justin Norton-Kertson, organizer for 15 Now PDX. “At the same time, no one who works should live in poverty. All low-wage workers in Portland need at least $15 to get by. We drafted and championed a bill to repeal the anti-worker preemption law last session, and we will continue to call on our state legislators to restore local control over minimum wage laws.”

A campaign to win $15 for even more working people in Oregon is already underway. A coalition spearheaded by Portland Jobs with Justice that includes 15 Now PDX as well as other Portland-area labor and community groups is fighting to raise the wage to $15 for at least 30,000 working people in Portland over the next 2 years through union contract bargaining and new organizing campaigns. “The state legislature failed to pass a minimum wage bill this last session, and working people are the ones who suffer as a result. The rent can’t wait, and so we are not waiting,” says Diana Pei Wu, Executive Director of Portland Jobs with Justice. “We support the legislative and ballot measure efforts to raise the minimum wage, and we are working to win $15 for workers in Portland now.”

Help raise our minimum wage in Oregon!

1. If the minimum wage had simply tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour. (update, now closer to 23/hr)

2. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would inject about $450 billion into the economy each year. That would give more purchasing power to millions of poor and lower-middle-class Americans, and would stimulate buying, production and hiring.

3. Studies by the Economic Policy Institute show that a $15 minimum wage would directly affect 51 million workers and indirectly benefit an additional 30 million. That’s 81 million people, or about 64 percent of the workforce, and their families who would be more able to buy cars, clothing and food from our nation’s businesses.

4. Economists David Card and Alan Krueger contend that, contrary to conventional economic orthodoxy, increases in the minimum wage increase employment. In 60 percent of the states that raised the minimum wage during periods of high unemployment, job growth was faster than the national average.

5. The current $7.25 minimum wage forces taxpayers to subsidize Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other large employers, effectively socializing their labor costs. This is great for Wal-Mart and its shareholders, but terrible for America. It is both unjust and inefficient.

6. An objection to a significant wage increase is that it would force employers to shed workers. Yet the evidence points the other way: Workers earn more and spend more, increasing demand and helping businesses grow.

the source of this information:

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