tv Book Discussion on The Fight for Fifteen CSPAN August 26, 2016 3:21am-4:41am EDT
satellite provider. >> hello, everybody. welcome. i'm so, so happy to see you. good evening. >> good evening. >> thank you. thank you. good evening. hopefully everyone has enjoyed some wine and some food and this is a lovely, lovely room this evening. it's not every day we get these kinds of moments to pause to step back and reflect on our gains, and actually celebrate because we need to and we should celebrate the amazing victories for working people snowballing across the country is a part of "fight for 15." just to think only several years ago, 9/25 was considered
a few years ago we began talking about how great it would be to have the series of books about the future of work and a just economy. it's in the agendas of leading activists and change makers that the first of the series we also launched here a few years ago across the generations and workers alliance and he is proud to partner with you and the new press and it's super exciting to see the second book in the series coming to the world and i know david will indeed already has been a powerful tool as the movement continues to grow. because i feel like i am in a room of friends here and most of you are indeed friends, i didn't introduce myself. i'm from the ford foundation and i'm a program officer and work
in economic security area. i just want to say that we will be a pure talking later. it's just incredibly proud to partner with you and several others of the groups that are also cosponsors of this event, the national domestic workers alliance, the project in the 75. reading the book it was like a moment in time i feel like something that ford has felt very connected to and very committed to supporting the stories and the voices in the campaigns that have been hard-fought across the country and we are thrilled to continue to partner with you all as we move forward to make this agenda of 15 but that includes the
economy reality. i hope you did grab a drink and bring it in. you are more than welcome to go back in and bring it out. the idea is this is a celebration and moment to reflect and discussion to be had and taken out into the hallways to the work and the world beyond. without further ado i would like to introduce my co- sponsor here and roosevelt to get us into the program. [applause] good evening, everybody and thanks to everybody for bringing us together to celebrate the site for 15. we all know but sometimes i don't think that we say it enough. we know through the hosts afford to. they are a lot of folks what
makes the work work so thinks out the board foundation and a special shout out to everyone behind the scenes he does everything to make both books and book launches have been so a special shout out. tonight i have to easy task of introducing 775 which as you all know organize 400,000 workers mostly long-term care providers in seattle. i would'v would like to talk abe elements of who david is first as a visionary labor leader and a writer and a truth teller and third as a friend. the visionary labor part you all know about. you read the book and he helped
craft the strategy in the ten square mile city of 26,000 people so that strategy move to seattle and now scores of campaigns across the country and the fact that raising the wage to 15 as par 15 is part of the y national conversation at dinner tables across america and in the 2016 presidential and the fact my mom and dad asked me about it when i go home for the holidays that can all be traced to the guy that we are celebrating tonight. but this isn't the only thing that david has helped us start. our move to thinking about making the worker benefits portable, paid leave, unemployment, the idea that those could follow you when you move a lot of that you now here at dinner tables across america and president obama speeches that was partly his idea for the
startup funding organization that many of you are involved in. each of these shows david's commitment to finding new solutions to the old problem of building real power at the sca scale. david is able to do this because he is a thinker and a truth teller. david is rare in that he's been willing to say the movement is shrinking and by many measures the deciding. we have threats from the outside, technological change is real and we have threats from within. so we have to think differently about analyzing the different business models if we are to actually see the kind of lives for working americans we hope for and if we want to see working americans. how.
you are all holding in your hands proof that he writes things down which allows him to make connections between the history of the labor movement. you can ask about the origins over cocktails. he connects the history to where we stand today and where we are headed tomorrow. finally, david as a friend. thinking about this this morning he's kind of a persuasive or inventive troublemaker and i'm look forward to getting a call from him because it starts with i thought this idea i think that we shut, and i never know how that sentence is going to end. there is probably some work for me at the end of that sentence but you all know that david brings us ideas a is to make ths idea a reality.
again, david ross. [applause] thank you. you can see i have to recover from this blushing as fact i don't normally come and normally i hear less polite things across the bargaining table and city hall and state capitol. for someone that talks for a living to have to read rather than to stand up here and ask them arise they have to read passages from the book. the heart of the evening is going to be the panel discussion in a few minutes, that to get us started i've selected two passages. one is from the beginning and the other is near the end the right wage for working america.
starting near the beginning of the book i will just ask people since we are in a presidential election to get into the mental time machines and go backwards to a moment that occurred in my childhood that i will read from here on out. imagine an alternative history of the 1976 election america celebrating its bicentennial of fireworks and two men come at republica,republican from michid democrat from georgia are campaigning to be president. this will soon come to an end. the hangover from vietnam and watergate will slowly fade. there will be no more lines for gasoline, no more stagflation. the berlin wall will crumble, the cold war will end, the nuclear threat will recede into
there will be no threats to this will. the last of the legal barriers to the full economic participation by the women and people of color will fall. china, korea, brazil, south africa will join the global economic community and left hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. americans will invent or reinvent and create more wealth that's been created in the history of humankind. technology will dramatically improve the lives of all americans and most people around the globe and america will continue to be the wealthiest nation with its most productive workers. that would have been a truly astounding set of predictions all of which as it turns out that have come through. the wealth of the country produces 95% will go to the top 1% of income earners and a few wealthy families will amass the
wealth from the bottom 50% combined. 80 to 90% won't see a dying of f increased pay and the bottom will have to take a pay cut. we arwe're going to export manufacturing and to divest from the infrastructure, deregulate and break the unio the unions ct think or if the pension system, shred the funding for the urban public education and make debt-free college a thing of the past. we are going to turn our back on the middle class and replace old jim crow laws within the apartheid for black and brown americans. the economic impact doubling the work force participation between 77 and 2012 will be $0 take-home pay for the income earning families and the family that can reasonably afford a comfortable middle-class on a person's paycheck today. we believe two or three incomes to live the same from now. obviously getting such a speech would have doomed anyone's presidential candidate. the party would have been out of
power for years. no one in america would vote for such a vision and yet like the optimistic first part, the second part of the speech would also turn out to be true. and it became true not because of a historical accident that because the economic system is intentionally rigged in favor of the wealthy americans over everyone else. trickle-down economics was woven into the conversation of consciousness as if it were returned to the founding documents in the country. 200 years of struggle and progress had been reversed over the last 40 years. if the power announced it was the plan for america we would have gone to war. so that is how the book in large measure opens. i will note in the following passage is the final manuscript with a final edit and that was
the 27th of january. so you will notice in the passage how fast the evidence have occurred since then. it's becoming clear that americans are ready for a change. january 2015 shows 63% of americans support a 15-dollar minimum wage. the strikes for $15 were joined by fast food workers and child care aides and retail workers. they took place in an astounding u.s. city. the 40 other countries join the solidarity actions. chicago raised its minimum wage, los angeles joined seattle and san francisco raising at $15. california raised its minimum wage to 16, the mayors of boston
new york, st. louis and kansas city proposed increases to $15 activists in washington, d.c. or organizing is what i wrote in january to put the way you jump awage onjune 2016 municipal bal. if the proposal for a ten wage. in 2015 in the past years was more cautious politics on wages. in the summer of 2015, another group of senators and representatives introduced a bill to go to $15. service workers at johns hopkins hospital on a new union contract that included a 15-dollar minimum wage. in the spring of 2015 the union hospital workers did the same into the workerinto the workerss
bark of the contract in 2015 would raise startin starting to5 by 2018 and workers in washington state saw the rate rise to 15 under the contract and benefits for the first time. in ne new york the mayor proposa 15-dollar minimum wage in 2014 which would require the state watching and city law change. the governor initially dismissed the figure is unrealistic. in early 2015 when the assembly proposed raising the wage to $15, god bless them, they would shoot for the stars. he put forward his own plan to raise the wage to $11.15 and $10.50 elsewhere in the state with a 15-dollar movement moved as well and quickly by the middle of 2015 it appointed to be bored for the fast food industry that recommended waging them to $15 fast food workers were sent to make them by 2018 and new york city and 2021 and the rest of the state.
to change the political lens, he went even further in september of 2015 announcing the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 for all workers. $15 per hour will be the highest in the nation and will herald a new economic contract with america and it's about time. there is the highest in every nation and to travel in less than a year. "the new york times" editors blog ran a headline in june of 2015 that summed up what seemed to be on the nations find disturbing wage, the new normal and this all happened in iowa and new hampshire. every great moment for justice in american history has begun with a seemingly implausible demand.
it's an end to child labor when one in five american workers was under 16. the powerful industries in the losing power and income if women gained the right to vote. an eight hour day. they worked an average of 100 a week and the end to jim crow law in the passage of the civil voting rights laws medicare, medicaid and eventually obamacare to dramatically expand health care coverage. impossible, the fight for 15 has been called -- been called impossible and even in same killing flies with a shotgun and an economic death wish that the movements establish a fair workweek and expand the rights to produce powerful policy victories and created a just society in the generation.
as we have seen the fight for 15 movement has already won major victories for the workers. the challenges and the poverty, income equality and economic growth were only becoming more acute. they need more wages and they've proven themselves a poor steward of the american economy. this issue isn't going to fix itself. that's the top of the government and those that own it. now is the time for the representatives from the candidates and members of congress, state houses and councils to seize the opportunity presented to them, the chance to be part of the historically significant national movement. what people will remember is whether or not the generation had the courage to stand up for the american dream at its greatest relative risk and whether we left a vibrant middle class the generations came after us. let us hope we give them reason
to remember the appreciation. thank you. [applause] thank you, david. something he does for many of us in the room we've got enough call, whether it's in the literal call or a missed call that you just left us with. many would say we won the campaign and we even got more than what we thought they could be are not on. is that this was the idea that we wanted you all to sip your wine to have this conversation of let's look forward and here we've come out several years of thinking big thoughts and talking with many of you whether the motives of the time how do we take on some of these biggest issues, we take on any quality. so in the new agenda it is
called forward. when we wanted to have this forward-looking conversation we thought who could help us with a lively conversation to get out how do we think about the way in which our institutions that exist needed to be transformed and how do we think that the labor movement for the 21st century, what is the social movements look like and how do you think about thwe think aboud ideas and yes in that house that is the rule of philanthropy and so we all said laura would be a wonderful person. then i read this and she was the best-selling author that interviewed forward thinking people that are of the time on the laura flanders show so i don't ask her to come up. she's always been an amazing partner in this and as you all know has been if you haven't, please go and check out her website asking some of the most provocative and interesting questions and discussions in the time of what is it goin the vise for us to move forward for this
kind of an inclusive economy. >> we have an amazing panel. thank you everyone. lively conversation. i see the bar has been raised. let's bring up the panelists. we are going to be speaking for a little while and take questions. we have the honor of having c-span and the house into the workers. when it gets to the q-and-a section i will ask you to wait for the microphone to come your way. but in the meantime i'm going to ask the palace to copy this age. i will say is right over there and bring up.
let me introduce to you know who is who. this is the survivor of the two-year process we will hear more about. the associate professor of labor studies at rutgers university, one of the writers on the question of the worker centers and organizing at the edge of the change as she puts it, the winner of the fight for 15 and the executiv executive directord cofounder of the national guestworker alliance among other things. thank you all. let's start with the question that you've put at the very end.
despite whether the 15 has been won but the question you put at the end just to say what is the seemingly improbable demand today? >> we are winning the fight for 15. but the other demand when they walked out on strike in new yo york. i think i'm probably in the growing minority of the activists and thinkers who would say that union is unlikely to look like my grandfather's auto worker union and my moms teachers union but the question of what workers power are going to emerge for the 21st century that combine the power to make the biggest companies say yes when they want to say no with
the scale to touch tens of millions of workers with a revenue model that allows organizational resilience even during the bad economies with period of disfavor is the needle that has to be threaded. we are winning the fight for 15 but this piece whatever it means in the 21st century context which i don't mean a set of specific legal responsibilities that the collective power at scale and in a sustainable way is the problem for our time. we are going to do that relatively directly as more and more states find that they are serving for job applicants and people are flocking to new york and seattle and california. that is the low hanging fruit. the harder problem to grapple with is what the collective work or cover looks like in the global technology power in the 21st century economy. >> will fight the union look
like and what type 21st century power look like? what does the working class look like? it is quickly running out a. >> workers today i think a lot has changed about how we work and who is working today. on how we are working, the economy is driving towards the workplace and contingent work and new phrases like the economy more and more workers are tending towards employment relationships where they are in the direct responsibility. to david's point, the way the
aggregate have to be different. they are getting to the collective power. the other thing is changing and there's been a shift but there's also a shift in the way the unemployment works more and mo more. so there's the unemployment and many of my members are unemployed for 27 weeks or more and that means the social safety net doesn't catch you when you are in that academy. the working class will be the majority minority class ten to four years before that change will come to the rest of the country.
so that is a sick advocate change and this change is happening at the same time that the u.s. excels i itself is in n extraordinary point. at the base of change. and we are not being outpaced by the globalization. so it isn't just the working class but changed its placement in the global economy. >> let me bring you in on that. i come from a country known as the united kingdom. [laughter] and watched the vote last week. >> it seems to me there is much to be said about it that i would like for you to talk a little bit about it because what it means for the need to address the culture along with class.
for many of the white house were provided refuge for wall street power. it surely underpinned the exit by the economics but it was the cultural peace around race and immigration that gave the movement its power. so what does that mean about how we organize it if you agree? >> we were talking and i came back from the uk from spending a little less than a week there. what was striking was in london. outside of london.
many of them the organization that has the presence were like saying thank you to those that voted. i have to say -- the party for exit. exit. i feel like there is a temptation just to say xenophobia and it's important to resist it and if we don't, somebody else is going to do it. the parallel to trump what is happening and what i saw as mind blowing i think there was sort of -- i had gone back to my years as community organizer to talk about people we didn't agree with and figure out the issues we could start to create
>> >> that is what is happening in the of labour party right now. with a the realization that the afl-cio has never bend more pro my glassworkers stoically and never less able to deliver. so thanks for the position that working people or have been the conversation that people were really mad. there were reasons why.
i don't mean any way to deny that they were subject to these rules that they lost their place in the labor market. >> so inclusive organizing, do you bring together the next generation that will have the traditional demands of the labor movement? but to include some of those demands? justice reform is that still labor movement platform? >> i will go back to david's book because the core argument is about the
importance of minimum-wage and it is captured in the title but just remember the basics of the universal policy. whoever is on the of bottom of the economy, it is universal and belongs to everyone. there is another argument in david's book because inequality hurts us, the reverse logic is also true from the employment contract coming in is good for the economy as a whole. the dozen just benefit the lowest workers. so they are all talking about the of politics that
helps us get past of divide and conquer and we do know from our history that that is a beautiful fuel in part because it makes it so easy to scapegoat. may have to organize in the inclusive way to understand this is their conversation. >> wide institutions do we need to create that? >> then one hand to see the wind blowing in the i.r.a. labor movement with the new tactics like what - - reaching a broadly as
important as that is. caring about things like health care, infrastructure care, infrastructure, public good, things that are public interest. working with those many movement organizations that is very important because it makes this inclusive agenda literally more broadbased. and mutually reinforce to. nothing fancy just the basics to work together. there are other things having to do with reforming institutions with his first comment talked about organizing and likewise the
reform agenda it's to go how we agreed to pay infrastructure. we have been told the government can do anything about it. we have been told to turn on each other. >> but coming back to david meeting every page in the book, are their stories you want to lift up? for speak to the of possibility this might be happening already. >> looking at us campaigns of people that you collected and accumulated of all parts
of the debate. there is the first woman who walked off the job had a talk about it was the bedroom community inside of seattle. without knowing if her co-workers would follow her and it was the first to shut down in this wave of strikes in 2013. and in one part it was the courage of all of the organizers of the world that will not help you. first of all the workers who have the courage to walk off the job are the stories we want anyone to tell.
now you have an had the chance you just want to jump to number five pet with health care and amazon with a number of places not all making a minimum of $9 but it was a low-wage economy. second, i didn't to like the workers stories. they were the most powerful. we did those things differently than in the playbooks. starting with the most important date initial levi 80 organizers in new york november 2012. i will say who was with but about two weeks before that and if they should be $9 or
$10.10 to say that would hurt the recovery we don't want to do that. that is wrong. first of all to be more aspirational we did not say this will do more good than harm. that would harm someone even the rich. if you are a business the once customers you should care about those workers. seventy% of the economy is considered to me and driven. giving billionaires' tax breaks does have some job creation and produces every dollar with $0.80 worth of jobs but none of that is
sent to a swiss bank account that all goes to create demand for goods and services to china that is sold by someone in the united states. we didn't see the job killer argument door number three we changed the value of the fast-food worker through the narrative but that person's value not of the product. because the more the workers can tell their stories, the more it's became difficult to read out of the playbook that this is argument number three. they have been using that since 1937.
i think a at number four but i will stop there. >> i will think it has been 10 years i am talking about new orleans after katrina in your working with those job killers of how bad is happening. >> so talking about the big bowl aspirations, the workers who are closest to the floor most vulnerable to build that political confidence of aspiration all demand in those to be
scapegoat with uh job killers cup but day were vilified. much of the success of the organizing depended on our understanding to the fear. with facts and figures for those that were standing in ravaged landscape for the homes to be built in they saw wages fall from $14 an hour down and six there was a very valid fear but at the same time it translated into
a violent reaction might organization was founded when guest workers trapped and labor camps were in new orleans and then they decided to start a network, of folks. -- a voice. these that have uh scapegoat they wanted to transform not just their commissions but did not want to displays of workers and working alongside. there is something about how far the debate went. fifteen was unimaginable but
that type of transformation is not possible for them to take that up and be even it. the workers our the most tolerable if think unfortunately lot of workers are like the guest workers in the labor camp they have nothing left to live for and nothing to lose. that could be very dangerous for a bold new imaginative direction. >> there are some old new imaginative directions with of income in basic wages.
so you have been pushing us to think how those systems shift. how do they create that different kind of economic system? >> i want to talk about the players for a minute. but this audience if you had the all-star team the organizing movements most of them would be star players. so it is the funny thing to be happier spec then we have lovely national audience. [laughter] but to say that at a time when the labor movement would say we could organize
a pink what is important to know and knowledge that people in this room of building credible organizations and it is important to acknowledgement who is here with the work done that has been incubating in supporting every possible way this burgeoning movement the progressive association is in this room they have been working for years painstakingly organizing that movement that has emerged over the last few years it is the huge accomplishment. added time everybody said you cannot build the organization it is impossible. we have proven that wrong. and i live in princeton but people will say to us you
support that minimum-wage raise that is great is just your obsession with the union side don't understand but the idea you could pass the appalling scenes without a powerful organization underneath? >> times saying that to get that you have to have a union. without knowing the end came to invest heavily to do this i just don't want to move so quickly for the need for institution building ledges the idea that was put out there at the very beginning of how the reinstitution build in this moment and create these institutions? the right has been very clear one of the most important parts for progress
and is the labor movement and we just need to recognize we really have to recognize the fight for 15 has been lifted by a these institutions old and new that i spend with a very forward-looking organization and all the community organizers who made those demands real. but what does that look like to build membership institutions? we're in a moment we will all network made no need membership based a lot of
that is power to make this happen in the other institutions made it work and we have to be very purposeful what that looks like going forward. >> this last point is so important both the fantasy that we have we can do without and the tendency to confuse mobilization mobilization, perhaps one of the of this images that we have been gripped by a is the era of spring. of of lot of that without organization and this is a political transition i am not predicting that for america but the importance
of creating modern organizations but there is no getting around the. >> we had riley on the show and said to demonstrate that they were demonstrating power. the virginia can think of the clever segue because i was thinking of the stockbrokers' could create an image of themselves a vision a cultural presence if you go back to talking about your grandfather and would chased the steel job we have tended to of all of that in the story in the fast-food workers had to
create a different kind of a story and that takes of lot of this pride month of the 49 killed in orlando. latin. queer. immigrant a 37 year-old burmese duck or a bouncer or telemarketer. a dancer, choreographer, none of those are the traditional faces of work but yet we tell their stories without those descriptors. so who are our allies in this movement? not just those utterances same business and sometimes
it is business. sometimes it is the the sharing the information sometimes not. >> i think we want to be pragmatic about the agenda we want to help rewrite the narrative together about the economy and how our fortunes were made and that is in everyone's interest. not just in the interest of the lowest paid workers but i will let my colleagues shed some light but business has a place. and it has then in the conversation defacto or by default but first of all, businesses not a model laugh
there are spokes' peace -- spokespeople in washington developed certain of our blinds and recede organizations speaking note on behalf of the of mom and pop shops who say unless tough about keeping wages the date poverty level don't ask government to do anything bold those people don't speak for us. we will organize and give voice to the swath of american business. did davids' but it is beyond the ways in which labor standards for the healthy economy as a whole can succeed with the collective interest i also think it is
a window on the purpose of the corporation. i know that is not you wrote the book about this important question about company's obligations to workers and the environment especially with corporate law and shareholder privacy. david puts it in a much more pointed and plainspoken way in the book to use the phrase shareholder value. the dangers of that ideology that religion of shareholder value is problematic it is not in the long run interests of business either it is not the way capitalism survives or thrives there are more and more people in the business world to understand that to affect change
learned lesson. that was not necessarily their best gravity with a different type of impeachment in seattle where from ahead of the chamber of commerce and bargained for four months to produce an outcome that was unanimous vote on city council with the support of the business community not unanimous but
where the major actors in the seattle economy were either excepting that this was a version of the future or perhaps resigned or forced the that tiny minority was resisting to say we are invited into a process it was clear where we were going but they were given the opportunity to impact those nuances of the policy and thought that was the better pragmatic decision than to simply say no. that would have been a dramatic defeat if it was a fight of yes or no. that was our experience locally only 15 miles apart the business community is very different but
nationally we see on the one hand you have a lobbyist and to the beltway crowd as all trade associations go to the lowest common denominator approach. i am sure we have your philanthropic trade associations that have the worst investment practices demanded that they are bad. and the trade associations universally end that way so even with the majority of business owners all associations came out because they are catering to the squeaky wheel of the institutions but then look at chapter seven righty bump those methods against higher minimum wages with factual information and not fairy tales.
we look at number of case studies the number of them drawn from the excellent scholarship from the school of business. how you can be a high-wage compete with dash company with a low-wage market amazon could have software developers paid equally to microsoft that isn't a hard problem to solve it is much harder to say how accompany called quick trip paid $20 an hour with the competition at is $7 to $0.25. how does costco be wal-mart in the marketplace? howdy affine fill low-wage industries that are subject to real life competition and that is what we talk about in the chapter where it is possible to build a successful business on a high-wage model. >> let's go to questions from the audience. we have 10 minutes of conversation.
and was that a part of the success of the site for 15 and having that be part of the culture. >> one is on the fifth wage when we see the situations like dc is still minimal do we address that to the workers from the fact what role do they play and then this last one in the fast food piece of this do the foodies play in that? >> to pick up what john was saying, the last social contract excluded large swaths of workers including southern workers, casual laborers and that was the result of a political compromise
where the dixiecrat into the plantation economy. those workers who were excluded now have moved from the margin to the majority and represent a large segment of the working class and as people of color it's not just that those industries are low-wage industries except those human beings who have been historically devalued are now marching into new industries where they are devalued and getting a bad deal. so i think that we have to figure out ways to radically expand the social contract and we have t tickets to the new lar contract. two things on that. it's one of the dangerous -- it
is always the kiwis -- the kiwis he'll. it is a real battle. it's in david's book and one of the things david mentioned in the earlier presentation was the way that governor cuomo created the board to elevate wages. that's important. the idea of workers speaking able to bargain further interest standards across many workplaces perhaps an entire labor market is going to be a big next step for innovation in the labor movement and that's one strategy to get out what he's saying.
you could imagine a city where the state allows it. you could imagine a citywide wage board that elevates low-wage workers standards across many industries. the labor movement and business would have to be stakeholders in that and be at the table but i think we need to kind of advance the experiments where we work on just that so that the labor and the restaurant worker are not exempt from these rising standards. >> i think that is right on the money. what is striking about the labor movement as opposed to the old labor movement if you start in labor history, the analysis always was that it was the more skilled workers in th and the me class and sort of the better off workers that led the movement.
if there is anything to be said if that actually low-wage workers and workers of color that are leading the movement in an incredibly pathbreaking moment in history. at the moment that's not enough value. we have to talk about manufacturing workers. there's this recognition of the service sector just in terms of the question earlier about employers, a lot of what i've been doing lately has been talking to public agencies about enforcement and one of the things that comes up when i make the argument for the broker community organizations they haven't been given a formal role in the law and we have to start thing in about the enforcement as the government does over here that's what we do together. one of the flashbacks i get from the local agencies, what do i
say to the local business you all come and let's recognize that markets are always better off when employers are organiz organized. that is an argument that weekend -- the can win. when his employers awhether hise local level in the sectors, we have somebody that we can deal with. and without that, we just have chaos. there's a common interest and we know this obviously through lots of labor history but it's no less true today who would lead the movement. to go back to the food issue whether you are talking restaurant workers, food
workers, we are talking women and one of the great models of organizing that's out there and in this room carrying across the generational model where there is a role for all stakeholders, consumers, practitioners, people receiving the service of care we talk about building a caring economy, and you talked about how the 15 the fight for 15 movement many were long-term caregivers and we are long-term care showers. we have to have a better idea of how to connect and keep the conversation going on how to take this implausible demand to the next level. but does anybody want to weigh in on this question?
he and his colleagues are adopting a stakeholder approach so it's gone from the workers to organizing restaurant owners and consumers to understand what they consume and the implications of what they are paying. how people are treated behind the kitchen door and in front, etc. and it extends and maybe this is where the question is coming from who picked the crops and processed food. one of the things i'm hearing tonight is we need to be savvy about the popular culture. think about let's say various high points of the movement including the second world war there is such an association between manufacturing jobs and the war effort.
manufacturing decent work which is pulling more women into the workforce and people of color -- >> and then pushing them out. >> very mixed, but an association of work with a national effort and it's a cultural power. it's so relatable. i'm not being naïve about the range of interest on industrial food. it is in the complicated and trench interest for the treatment of workers. it's a long way to go but there is a tremendous power in this and i appreciate the question. >> i can't help but say it may be a power. david, last comment and then we will put some closing thoughts. >> just to respond to some of the questions, seattle is the kind of city where there are not exactly as many farmers markets as there are mcdonald's which is a great thing. that's really true.
that being said, i wouldn't say the role of food itself was front and center in the strugg struggle. it's about the low-wage work and then expanding outwards to the gas stations and airport workers and sort of the whole we now live in a world where 15 of the fastest 20 p. $11,520 an hour and don't require any education past high school and 43.8% of the work jobs under $15 an hour. so we are rapidly becoming a low-wage nation and that was the height issu of the issue in seae that we addressed. washington state did away with its penalty legislation in 1988. so on a single day in 1989, january 1 from every restaurant
worker in the state got a 300% raise. guess what, we still have restaurants, despite what is it, nearly 30 years of the restaurant association putting out a december newsletter predicting how many thousands of jobs will be lost. it's clear that the arguments don't have economic resilience once you test them because the places like san francisco and seattle have among the highest per capita number of jobs and restaurants in the united stat states. so it's clear that you don't need that stuff to maintain the restaurant business climate.
it only tipped the farm workers and domestic workers who were excluded and it was independent contractors and healthcare workers. four of those groups continue to be excluded except occasionally the state legislation, eight states don't have the credit, one has collective bargaining for farm workers etc.. they went on strike in the 60s and 70s and when the they wouldt go on unions and went on strike anyway that's how the watching. we are going to remain. >> this was a great panel. thank you for writing this book.
i have to say i can't renumber exactly what she said about the book that i know that it was really great. and i actually did read the book and it reminded me a lot of marriage, the good, the bad, the ugly for better and worse, rich and poor. it was a great read and very inspiring. i want to thank the foundation for your support of this amazing work to fight for 15 is the most important fight for economic justice in america today. i know from our own experiences at the foundation supports that work and i also want to give a shout out to a few other significant victories in the ford foundation and others in the room has been a part of and it goes to the point that in addition to needing organizing and new forms of building worker
power, we need good government and that this is a shout out the best labor department that we have had some 1938. [applause] all of you know that we have had in overtime rule and we are fighting to keep the congress from stealing wages that they finally won. i have to say we had an amazing surprising decision of the supreme court on the abortion restrictions and that was fantastic. but yesterday the court decided not to grant the review that the ford foundation supported other organizations in 20, 30 years. finally the home care workers
are guaranteed the right to a federal fair minimum wage and overtime pay. 2 million workers went to bed last night knowing that for the first time they get the same rights that most other americans take for granted. we wouldn't have this if we didn't have the good government supporting the work that the unions and people in the group have been doing to take advantage of this moment. i am discouraged when i look around and think of what's happening with respect to the labor movement but i am also super excited about what we've been able to accomplish as a community in the last several years and have to admit we are among those that thought we wanted to work in the fight for 15 of the did that report on how many people earn less than 15 and i'm happy to say because of the fight for 15, today one in
five american workers lives in a jurisdiction that has a 15-dollar minimum wage. over the course of two or three years that is pretty amazing. [applause] >> the great andrew cuomo, god bless him. shoot for the stars. after this, mingling and have another drink. the foundation is giving away copies of david's book that we o encourage people to go online to howls powles bookstore in order copies for your family and friends an