Raise our Wages & Resist Corporate Assaults Against our Rights
This is an old script. Since the Raise the Wage Act passed the House, we’ve split this up into two new scripts:
My name is __________. I am a constituent, and my zip code is _______. I am a member of Indivisible SF.
I urge you to support the Raise the Wage Act (HR.582/S.150).
[House:] I also ask that you support the Restoring Justice for Workers Act (HR.2749)
[Senate:] I also ask that you introduce a Senate version of the Restoring Justice for Workers Act (HR.2749)
Even though the nation's attention is riveted on impeachment, we still need to raise the bread and butter issues that directly and immediately affect peoples' lives. We need to fight for the issues that show what we are for, not just what we are against.
The national minimum wage of $7.25/hour (and a paltry $2.13 for tipped workers) hasn't risen for years. In 2018 the national federal poverty level for a single mom with two kids was $20,780 (much higher in San Francisco, of course). For a family of four it was $25,100 plus an another $4,420 for each additional family member. At $7.25/hour, someone laboring 40 hours a week would only earn $15,080 annually, well below the poverty rate. So the working poor have to work multiple jobs just to reach up to the poverty level. And a living wage would be even higher.
Many homeless families have regular jobs that simply don't pay enough to shelter and feed them. One full time job should be enough to live above the poverty line. Starting in 2021, the Raise the Wage Act establishes automatic increases in the minimum wage until it reaches $15/hour by 2027 at which point a full time job would barely keep a family of four above the poverty line (in other words, not yet a living wage). The act mandates a formula for automatic increases to account for inflation in subsequent years and it also eliminates the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and it also eliminates the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.
More and more workers are being forced to sign mandatory arbitration agreements that prevent them from suing abusive and criminally negligent employers in court – regardless of how outrageous the abuse. It's estimated that within five years, 80% of nonunion workers will be laboring under forced arbitration agreements. These agreements prevent class action lawsuits and force each employee to bear the time and expense of arbitration as a lone individual against a giant corporation with its own experienced legal staff.
The arbitration rules and processes are set solely by the corporation for their benefit – employees are only given a “take it or quit” choice. Because arbitrators are chosen from a list, the corporation knows each arbitrator's record while the lone employee doesn't, and arbitrators who rule too often for workers are not chosen again by corporations so their careers depend on not satisfying the corporate lawyers. This is an inherently unfair and rigged system that results in employees almost always losing to corporate power.
The Restoring Justice for Workers Act prohibits such forced arbitration agreements and bars retaliation against workers for refusing to arbitrate work disputes. It also outlaws agreements and practices that interfere with employees' right to join with each other in concerted activity regarding work disputes.
Federal Poverty Level – HealthCare.Gov (ACA “Obama Care”)
Federal Poverty Level Guidelines and Chart – The Balance
Restoring Justice for Workers Act (HR.2749)
Unchecked Corporate Power – EPI, 5/20/19
Forced Arbitration – EPI
Forced is Never Fair – EPI