NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Fight for $15 campaign which started in New York City, has brought thousands of fast-food workers, service and domestic workers traditionally considered beyond the reach of the American labor movement into the union fold.
Its legislative victories in city after city from New York to Seattle prove that strikes, demonstations, and mobilizing employes can work.
As the Fight for $15 reminds us that local grassroots organizing works, businesses like McDonalds and Berger King must continue to be union organizing targets. However, the workers in every occupation and location also need to be unionized.
The exact form that unions take as an organization is less important than the initiative to organize companies and increase union membership. That doesn’t mean that we should abandon established unions. It does mean that at times new unions need to be eatablished. A struggle against outsourcing can become an organizing opportunity for one union but not another. However we must organize all workers in every profession and trade regardless where they are working. Every worker in our great country is entitled to dignity, fair wages, pension and health benifits. It should not matter if you are working at a airport, employed at a college, work through an employment agency or drive a school bus.
Whether or not workers are unionzed by new labor organizations or established unions, hard core organizing must take place at every level in the workforce. Organizing at the local grassroots level is still a model that works as demonstrated by the fight for 15.