Voz Raises Minimum Wage

On May 31st, day laborers voted to raise the minimum wage at the MLK Jr. Worker Center to $15 per hour. With this vote, they stand in solidarity with low wage workers across the country in the fight for $15! This historic decision is effective as of June 5, 2017!

Voz has been involved in the fight for $15 for several years as part of the Fair Shot Coalition and in partnership with Jobs With Justice. While the average earned wage at the Worker Center in 2016 was over $14 per hour, $12 remained the enforced minimum. This decision represents much debate and deliberation within the day laborer community, but all are thrilled at the progress this represents for the Worker Center.

As members of the informal economy, day laborers face high rates of labor abuses, including wage theft or payment of wages far below the federal minimum wage. By joining the fight for $15 day laborers make a declaration of the value of their labor, the importance of a just minimum wage, and the power of solidarity among all low wage workers!

Voz joins Casa Latina – our Seattle equivalent – who were the first in Seattle to adopt the $15 minimum! Their bold move added momentum to the fight for $15 in Seattle, where it has been successfully adopted city-wide. We hope to have a similar impact in Portland.

There have been major successes in the fight for $15 locally, but we will continue to fight until a $15 minimum wage is guaranteed city-wide! Last year, we asked the City to follow Seattle’s lead, and while they have not adopted the new wage city-wide, they have guaranteed $15 to all those employed or contracted by the City. This is an important step – but the fight for $15 is far from over!