Raising the Minimum Wage and Unionizing Under Biden
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FEATURING SHAUN RICHMAN – President Joe Biden among his first acts in office was to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage. In a speech showcasing his economic recovery plan given just two days after his inauguration, the new president spoke about raising the minimum wage. Democrats in the House and Senate reintroduced their “Raise the Wage” Act which would raise the floor for compensation to $15 an hour over five years.
The idea of workers earning $15 an hour was first pushed years ago by masses of working class Americans, immigrant workers, and organized labor, whose full demand was for $15 an hour and a union. Will Democrats in the White House, House, and Senate demand and deliver what is needed at a time of historic unemployment, rising inequality, and other economic ills facing workers?
Shaun Richman, author of Tell the Bosses We’re Coming: A New Action Plan for Workers in the Twenty-First Century. Richman spent a decade and a half as a union organizer and representative. He is the Program Director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. His writing has been published in The American Prospect, In These Times, Jacobin, The New York Daily News and the New York Times.