“In Seattle, to be sure, the $15 minimum wage mandate already is creating challenges for employers and workers alike. Negative outcomes like these tell me we have more work to do here [in St Paul]” -- B Kyle, head of St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
“It just seemed like the people in power were way too greedy to let [$15] happen. I remember everyone saying it could never pass. Then they said if it did pass, it would put everything out of business and we’d all lose our jobs. Now that we won, they’re trying to tell me I’m actually doing worse now?” -- Crystal Thompson, worker at Domino’s Pizza in Seattle
Ever since workers in Seattle started organizing the first campaign to win a $15 municipal minimum wage, big business claimed that $15 would hurt workers. They said the same thing in California, New York, and Minneapolis to try and crush the growing movement for living wages. Last Friday, the new head of the St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce publicly expressed doubts about raising the wage to $15.
But any worker will tell you that a raise from $9/hour to $15/hour changes their life for the better. Crystal Thompson, a Domino’s worker in Seattle who helped organize and win $15, wrote a great testimony last month in Seattle’s local paper describing how $15 has helped her get her own place, stop taking out payday loans, and reach her goal of buying a car and taking her kids on their first vacation.
Business always tries to stop workers from fighting for the things we need. They told workers in the 1910s that an eight hour day would destroy the economy. They told workers in the 1930s that abolishing child labor would lower quality of life for working families. They told workers in the 1960s that safety regulations would close small businesses. Now, right here in St Paul, they’re telling us that $15 isn’t in our best interest. But we know that the rent won’t wait-- we need a minimum wage of $15/hour for every working person in St Paul, no tip penalty, no exemptions.
We can see that the St Paul Chamber of Commerce is already gearing up to stop us from winning $15. They have billions of dollars and lots of influence in City Hall. We need to be organized to beat them. Donate or get involved today to help us beat back big business and win $15/hr in St Paul!