Community Leaders and Workers Demand Strong City Wage Ordinance With Clear Path to $15 an Hour

Today at Kindred Hospital Northland, workers, faith leaders and community leaders marked the 25th anniversary of Justice for Janitors day with a rally and press conference calling on city officials to pass a strong city wage ordinance that outlines a clear path to a $15 minimum wage.  
 
“So many people I talk to every day are struggling to make ends meet on $300 a week, or less,” said Deacon Mike Lewis of St. Patrick Parish. “You just can’t sustain a family with wages like that. We need our City Council to take concrete steps on raising the minimum wage to improve the lives of Kansas City workers and their families.” 
 
“We need for Kansas City to raise the minimum wage so we’re all on a level playing field and nonunion janitorial companies can’t come in and pay janitors poverty wages,” said Richard Franklin, a member of SEIU Local 1.
 
“We will succeed as a community when every worker is paid enough to care for his or her family, and we need our City leaders to do what politicians in Jefferson City have just refused to do: raise the minimum wage,” said Fr. Mike Roach of St. James Catholic Church. “Raising Kansas City’s minimum wage will help thousands of working families, who will then inject millions of dollars back into Kansas City businesses. We would be foolish not to take action this summer.” 
 
Janitors at Kindred Hospital Northland used to have a union, with a voice on the job, a livable wage, paid time off and healthcare. Now, janitors here can’t count on a good job to provide for their families.
 
The 25th anniversary of Justice for Janitors day falls at a time when a full 42% of the American workforce is still paid less than $15 and hour, and the call for “$15 and a union” is louder than ever. The Justice for Janitors movement has proven that workers can win in tough economic times, which is why they have joined the Fight for 15 and are fighting alongside airport workers, security officers, homecare workers, adjunct professors, and fast food workers.

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