Fast-food strikers got a boost to their campaign on Tuesday morning, when Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton personally tweeted out her support ahead of a national day of protests:
Organizers with the 3-year-old, union-backed Fight for 15 campaign predicted that Tuesday would be their biggest day of protests yet, with demonstrations hitting hundreds of cities around the country. Pillorying fast-food and other service-sector companies for paying low wages, workers and activists are calling for a $15 minimum wage and union recognition.
Clinton has previously voiced her support for the campaign, if not for a nationwide wage floor of $15. Unlike her leading primary contender, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the former secretary of state has said $15 wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate for areas with lower costs of living, instead advocating for a Democratic proposal of $12 now in Congress. But Clinton has still applauded the workers for helping raise local minimum wages and drawing attention to the plight of the working poor.
The support from Clinton on Tuesday comes at a time when the Fight for 15 campaign is hoping to flex its muscles in national politics. Tuesday’s protests come one year ahead of the 2016 elections, with the campaign declaring low-wage workers a “voting bloc that can no longer be ignored.” Many of the day’s protests will happen at state Capitols, with protesters urging lawmakers to boost the minimum wage.
The Fight for 15 campaign is bankrolled by the Service Employees International Union, one of the most influential labor groups in U.S. politics. The union has not yet endorsed a Democratic candidate for president, and it isn’t clear it will do so while the primary is still contested. Whoever nabs the SEIU’s backing will enjoy the union’s robust electoral ground game.
Sanders was scheduled to join low-wage workers protesting outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday morning, according to the protest’s organizers.
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