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Workers Strike in 270 Cities to Support $15 Minimum Wage

The biggest demonstrations yet in the fight for $15.

Fight for $15 strike in Chicago, May 2014. Via Flickr user Bob Simpson

Child care, home care, fast food, and other contract workers in 270 U.S. cities are set to stage the largest walk out yet today in support of a $15 minimum wage. The strike is part of a now three-year campaign by the union-backed group Fight for $15. The group’s representatives say today’s action is timed a year to the day of the 2016 presidential election, and is meant to demonstrate the political power of the movement.

The workers advocating for a $15 an hour minimum wage are a “voting bloc that can no longer be ignored,” the group said in a statement. Currently, the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25, though a number of states and cities have higher wage floors.

"The money I bring home can barely take care of my rent," Brooklyn KFC worker Alvin Major told Reuters as he participated in a 200-person protest that blocked street traffic in the New York City borough. "We need a wage that could take care of our basic necessities.”

Though Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has not come out in support of a federal $15 minimum wage, the former secretary of state tweeted her support of today’s protests. “Fast-food, home care, child care workers: Your advocacy is changing our country for the better. #Fightfor15,” she wrote.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was on hand at a Fight for $15 rally on Capitol Hill this morning. In June, the presidential candidate introduced a bill to raise to the national minimum wage to $15.

“What you are doing and workers all over the United States are doing, you are having a profound impact,” Sanders said. “People are raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. And you know who started it? You did. You started the movement.”

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