Dear Sparky: I keep hearing all this talk about raising the minimum wage, then last week I read somewhere else about McDonald's workers wanting $15 an hour. Well I’d like to make $45 an hour! I’m pulling your tail, but you get my point, right? Where does it end? Signed, Just Another Working Slob
Dear Slob: Thanks for the question. I’m guessing that I don’t have to tell you that it's a "dog-eat-dog" world out there (horrors!), and that all too often where it ends is a race to the bottom. The good news is that a growing number of people—including those fast-food workers you’ve been hearing about—have decided that enough’s enough. And your elected officials (sadly, I can’t vote...) seem to be getting the message.
As I write this, the Massachusetts legislature is poised to raise the state minimum wage up from a paltry $8 an hour to somewhere around $11 over the next few years. It’s a start but we've got a lot of ground to cover. I like to use the analogy of a handsome Dalmation chasing after a squirrel. He starts slow but starts to pick up steam until he’s moving so fast that he’s a sleek, spotted streak. It’s called momentum, and my point is that we’re finally getting somewhere when it comes to raising the wages of the people in this state who earn the least. That includes some members of Local 888 who are barely getting by.
Now we need to take that momentum and put it to work for the people on the next rung, and the next rung, until its your turn. That’s why you’ll see me at the National Day of Action for Low Wage Workers on June 12th. (Check www.seiu888.org for details). I’ll be the good looking fellow on the leash... Sparky