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On Tax Day, Miami and Fort Lauderdale WORKERS TO JOIN LARGEST-EVER MOBILIZATION OF UNDERPAID

FIGHT FOR $15
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Local Media CONTACT: Jackie de Carvalho, jackie.decarvalho@seiufl.org  (561) 287-2879
National Media Contact: Bartees Cox, bartees.cox@berlinrosen.com, (202) 815-6457
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Miami Groups Join Forces with the Fight for $15 to Push for Living Wages & Local Hiring from Tax-Funded Projects
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Fast-Food Workers to Strike in 200 U.S. Cities, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Protest on Six Continents; Adjunct Professors, Home Care, Child Care, Airport, Industrial Laundry and Walmart Workers to Rally Coast to Coast

Miami– On Tax Day, fast food workers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and in cities from Pittsburgh to Pasadena will walk off the job, while adjunct professors, home care, child care, airport, industrial laundry and Walmart workers will march and rally in what will be the most widespread mobilization ever by U.S. workers seeking higher pay.

WHO:  Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast-food restaurants; adjunct professors;  home care, Walmart, child care, industrial laundry and airport services workers; students,  faith leaders, #BlackLivesMatter activists.

WHAT:  Largest-ever fast-food strikes; most widespread mobilization of underpaid workers

WHEN/WHERE:

Miami 6:00 am - Strike & Rally at McDonald’s 18250 NW 27th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

Fort Lauderdale 8:00 am – Fort Lauderdale airport outside of terminal 3, 2nd floor. Supporters will meet at terminal 1 then march to terminal 3.

Miami 5:30 pm – Rally & March starting at Greater Bethel AME Church - 245 NW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33136. Fast Food workers, home care workers and community leaders will be available for press interviews beginning at 4:30 pm.

Locally many groups see a path to victory by taking on often unpopular publicly funded development projects like the Miami World Center. Developers are seeking $100 million dollars to build the second largest proposed development in the country right next to one of Miami’s most storied and neglected African American communities, Overtown. Despite seeking public funds, this project doesn’t guarantee any permanent living wage jobs to any of the local residents. Many community leaders have harnessed their outrage by setting their sights on demanding living wages for all future taxpayer funded projects.

“In Miami, the Fight for 15 means that you can’t come into our community, take our communities’ money to build your business and then return the favor by giving us either no jobs or poverty jobs.” said Bishop Adams of Overtown’s St. John’s Baptist Church. His church plans to mobilize congregants for the April 15 march, which will pass the Miami World Center project on its way downtown.

In Fort Lauderdale, the airport was chosen as the backdrop for a silent march to highlight the airport workers who are standing in solidarity with other low wage workers for $15 and union rights. In addition, a group of 100 nurses will join this event to show their support for the Fight for $15 movement.  “Airport workers from across the country are joining the largest-ever mobilization of underpaid workers. We’re proud to be part of the growing movement of workers fighting for a movement that has the potential to change people’s lives for the better,” said airport worker Gueldere Gerilos.

#BlackLivesMatter activists will join the two-and-a-half-year-old Fight for $15 movement as the ties between the racial and economic justice movements deepen. And the marches and rallies will stretch around the globe, with protests expected in 100 cities, in 40 countries, on six continents, from Sao Paolo to Tokyo.

Workers chose tax day both because the date, 4/15, is their demand and because they want to highlight the fact that they are paid so little that too many are forced to rely on public assistance to get by. [The protests will start a day earlier in Boston out of deference to the April 15 anniversary of the marathon bombing.]

The nationwide strikes and protests will come two weeks after McDonald’s announced it was increasing salaries for a fraction of its workforce by $1. But rather than mollifying employees, the paltry pay move is attracting ridicule and inspiring even more workers to join the walkout.

Background  Two-and-a-half years after it launched in New York City, with 200 cooks and cashiers walking off their jobs demanding $15 an hour and union rights, people working in a range of different industries (including home carechild care, airport servicesretail and academia) in the US and around the world have joined the Fight for $15 movement. What seemed crazy— workers’ demand for $15 an hour—has caught on and is now reality in SeaTac, Seattle and San Francisco. From coast to coast, cities, states and companies are racing to raise wages well above the federal minimum of $7.25. Now Democrats and leading economists are increasingly pointing to strengthening working Americans’ freedom to form unions as a key solution to boost wages and restore broad-based prosperity, something fast-food workers have been saying since their first strike in November, 2012. And the urgent need for solutions to America’s low-wage crisis is already emerging as a key issue in the run-up to the 2016 election

On Wednesday, the Fight for $15 —the movement Slate said, “managed to completely rewire how the public and politicians think about wages;” MSNBC said, “entirely changed the politics of the country;” and Fortune said, “transformed labor organizing from a process often centered on nickel-and-dime negotiations with a single employer into a social justice movement that transcends industry and geographic boundaries,”—will wage what is expected to be the largest-ever mobilization of U.S. workers seeking higher pay, with strikes, rallies and protests to be held across the country, including multiple actions in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.

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