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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 January 2014

US: The fight for $15 minimum wage heats up in Seattle

Across the US low-wage workers are rising up, protesting, and striking for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Seattle is poised in 2014 to be the first major US city to win $15. Voters in SeaTac, a small city outside Seattle, recently passed a ballot initiative for $15.

A leader in the fight for $15 in Seattle, Kshama Sawant, shocked the corporate elite by winning a City Council seat in Seattle as a Socialist Alternative (co-thinkers of the Socialist Party in the US) candidate. Newly elected Mayor Ed Murray has also declared his support for $15.

But big business will not let this pass without a fight. They will mobilise their resources to derail, delay, and dilute efforts to end the poverty wages that are the source of their profits.

The only way we can counter the power of corporate America is by building a massive grassroots campaign with local neighbourhood and campus groups, town hall meetings, mass rallies, and strikes.

Kshama Sawant and a growing list of workers, unions, and activists, have come together to form 15 Now to organise this movement.

15 Now is currently centred in Seattle - where the fight for 15 has the best immediate prospects - but we aim to build a nationwide movement.

A victory in Seattle in 2014 would open the floodgates for working people to demand $15 in cities across the country.

To lay the basis for a serious campaign, we are launching an appeal for 1,000 people to donate $15 a month. 15 Now will be holding a rally for $15 on Sunday 12 January.

This year's inauguration ceremony, which took place on 6 January, was Seattle's biggest ever, largely because of the interest in Kshama's victory. 2,000 people had expressed an interest in attending the event, which Kshama used to explain the huge significance of her election.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 8 January 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Axe austerity in 2014

Another year of mass struggles beckons

Unite all workers to end bosses' race to the bottom

Truth revealed about Thatcher's war against the miners

Privatisation Act lies behind the A&E crisis

Greedy landlords create housing hell

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop cruel care cuts

Birmingham Labour 'consults' over 87 million cuts


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Numsa's bold and historic decision to cut ties with the ANC

Why capitalism mourned Mandela

US: Fight for $15 minimum wage heats up in Seattle


Socialist Party workplace news

CWU Royal Mail agreement: Defend our right to strike!

Hampshire Unison success shows potential for fightback

UPS workers' victory

Every job matters on London Underground

Two PCS strikes on both sides of New Year


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Is UK car building back in Top Gear?

Class injustice at Dickensian court

Time for a new workers' party

Energy Bills: Labour's 'supermarket special offer'


 

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