Local 1000 is committed to building a California with vibrant,
sustainable communities and a healthy economy where all working
families earn enough to enjoy a secure, meaningful life.
Unfortunately, California–like the rest of the country–is facing
wealth gap since 1928: The state is home to more
billionaires than any other and yet 22
percent of Californians live in poverty.Seven out of 10 new
jobs being created pay less than $15 an hour, making it
impossible for workers to pay for basic necessities like rent and
groceries, much less move upward into the ever-shrinking middle
class. This is the segment of our population that are often
referred to as the “working poor.”
Minimum Wage Affects All of Us
The minimum wage was created to be a hedge against impoverished
workers, but the minimum wage is so out of sync with increases in
the cost of living that workers who are paid the federal minimum
wage make roughly
25 percent less than their counterparts 45 years ago after
adjusting for inflation.
To meet the most basic needs, minimum-wage workers and their
families often need government assistance to close the gaps that
their paychecks don’t cover.
In the fast-food industry, which is one of the biggest
employers of minimum-wage workers:
More than half of the families of front-line workers are
enrolled in one or more public assistance programs, compared to
25 percent of the workforce as a whole.
The cost of public assistance to families of fast-food
industry workers is nearly $7 billion per year.
These families also receive an annual average of $1.04
billion in food-stamp benefits and $1.91 billion in Earned Income
Tax Credit payments.
Even full-time hours–which are a rarity in this industry–are
not enough to compensate for low wages. The families of more than
half of the fast-food workers employed 40 or more hours per week
are enrolled in public assistance programs.
Fast-Food Workers Are Not Alone
But let’s not fool ourselves: The low-wage workers who have
joined the Fight for $15 and a union are not limited to just the
fast-food industry. Airport workers, healthcare workers and
adjunct college professors are also joining the fight.
Low-wage work is hard and should be rewarded with dignity and
fair compensation. Given that corporate America has proven over
the last 30 years it is not inclined to pay a fair wage on its
own, low-wage workers are also fighting for the right to organize
in the workplace without fear of retaliation or retribution.
That’s why Local 1000 has joined the Fight for $15 and a union.
Together with our brothers and sisters in labor and a broad
coalition of social- and economic-justice allies, we will
continue to demand that corporations pay a fair wage for the
labor from which they profit. And we will continue to stand with
all workers and invite them to stand with us.
Last week, Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force recommended
an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $12.50 an hour by 2020.
The recommendation will now go before the City Council for review
and public comment before a final decision is reached.
“We have raised the debate about income inequality and will
continue the fight for fair wages throughout California so that
no one who works full time lives in poverty,” said Yvonne R.
Walker, Local 1000 president.
Scores of Local 1000 members were joined by community activists
from across the Sacramento region August 25 for a town hall
addressing the growing wealth disparity in our economy and what
working people can do to stand up for each other.
As the possibility for narrowing the income gap comes closer to
reality for low wage workers in Sacramento, Local 1000 members
are pushing to keep the needs of the working families top-of-mind
for the city’s decision makers. At the third meeting of
Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force on August 12, our
members took their turn at the public comment podium to give
voice to the real experiences of working Californians—and their
community partners—who struggle to live on minimum wage.
With nearly 45,000 represented members in the Sacramento area,
Local 1000 is an economic force to be reckoned with in
California’s capitol city. The union has been a proud and vocal
proponent of raising the minimum wage to combat income
inequality. In a nod to both those realities, Sacramento Mayor
Kevin Johnson has appointed our president, Yvonne R. Walker, to
the city’s Income Inequality Task Force.
Local 1000 members joined thousands of low-wage workers and their
supporters in rallies and marches across California on April 15
to mark the Fight for $15 and a Union National Day of
“Let there be no mistake.In California, we will have $15 and a
union. Local 1000 will be in the street for as long as it takes
until we get what we need for working people.”
—Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 President
On Wednesday, thousands of people are joining fast-food workers,
retail employees, child care workers, home care providers,
airport workers and adjunct professors in rallies up and down the
state and in more than 60 cities across the nation to demand fair
pay for hard work: $15 and a Union.
“No one working full-time should have to live in poverty,” said
Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We stand with these
workers to ensure their prosperity and their ability to provide a
dignified living for their families.”