St. Pete City Council members join Fight for 15! movement – Florida Politics (blog)
Three members of the St. Petersburg City Council joined activists rallying for a $15 an hour wage and a right to unionize on Tuesday, a “National Day of Disruption” led by organized labor to raise the living wage for low-income workers.
“Let’s be clear. The Fight for $15, it’s a lot more than getting $15 an hour,” said Council member Darden Rice. “It’s about dignity, and it’s about respect.”
The noon time rally in front of St. Pete City Hall was one of three such events taking place in the Tampa/St. Petersburg region on Tuesday, and one of hundreds taking place across 340 U.S cities.
A 6 a.m. rally in front of a McDonald’s in East Tampa kicked off the local activities, which was to conclude with a major rally later in the day at Centennial Park in Ybor City.
The movement to raise Florida’s minimum wage from its current $8.05 an hour rate has gone nowhere legislative in the Sunshine State since the battle began in 2012. Former Miami Dade Democratic Senator Dwight Bullard sponsored bills moving the minimum wage up to $10.10 in 2014 and 2015 that never received a hearing, a similar fate that occurred earlier this year when he proposed raising it to $15 an hour. Bullard lost his race to stay in the Senate earlier this month to Republican Frank Artilles. Activists say they are working with other legislators to see about who may propose it in the 2017 session.
Advocates have scored getting a $15 wage in states like California and New York, while Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have approved the measure at the local level. In Miami Beach, Mayor Phil Levine announced earlier this year his plan to raise his city’s living wage to $13.31 over a period of four years. That’s a violation of state law, which doesn’t allow municipalities to create their own