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Workers in Massachusetts Win Fight For Earned Sick Time

B1nvzfqCEAAbjtA.jpg largeYesterday, millions of Massachusetts voters turned out at the polls and voted to pass Question 4, which will ensure that all workers in the Commonwealth have earned sick time protection. This is a major victory for a million workers in our state who were at risk if they had to call in sick to work.

The late senator Ted Kennedy once said that “no one should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love.”

And now, with the passage of earned sick time, no parent in Massachusetts will be forced to choose between going to work to put food on the table and staying home to take care of a sick child.

No worker will risk losing their job if they need to see a doctor, because it’s not just about staying home with the flu. It’s about having the time to go to the doctor or see a dentist and prevent minor problems from becoming serious conditions.

Earned sick time will also help small businesses succeed by making employees healthier and more productive, and will keep money in the hands of consumers who spend it in their neighborhoods, helping grow our local economies.2014-11-02 14.23.19

For more than a year, hard-working volunteers from the Raise Up Massachusetts campaign having been hitting the streets and mobilizing across the state to get earned sick time protection for working families.

It started with a rally on the State House steps last July, led to two rounds of collecting enough signatures to get Question 4 on the ballot. And volunteers worked tirelessly, making calls and canvassing to engage voters at every corner of our state.

The ability to care and provide for yourself and your family members is a right, not a privilege.

And yesterday, voters across Massachusetts agreed.

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Workers and Activist Bands Honk for $15 (VIDEO)

Check out this video from the October 10 Honk for $15 action that took place in downtown Boston. You’ll see activist bands from across the country and beyond marching with workers and community supporters to bring the fight for higher wages and better treatment on the job to the doorsteps of low-paying employers. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, go to wageaction.org and lowpayisnotok.org.

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National Bands Come to Boston and “HONK! For $15″

Last Friday, activist brass bands from across the country descIMG_2152ended on Boston to bang the drum for higher wages and better treatment on the job for low-wage workers. As part of the 9th annual Honk Fest, bands from as far away as Seattle, Brooklyn and Montreal used their powers of music and spectacle to “HONK! for $15.”

These loud and colorful bands, like Seattle’s Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, took downtown Boston by storm as they used their talents to bring the national fight for a $15 minimum wage right to the doorsteps of low-paying fast-food restaurants and retail shops.

Friday’s event is the latest in a campaign where workers in Massachusetts are standing up and speaking out against the increasing income that has gripped this country.

Low wages don’t just affect one group of workers, but many across different industries and different communities. From large cities to small towns, extremely low wages are keeping workers and their families trapped in a cycle of poverty.

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King said “that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and recently, Boston has been a major beachhead in that fight. Last year, Boston fast-food workers joined the national campaign to raise standards at fast-food restaurants. On September 4, these workers escalated their campaign, participating in an act of civil disobedience in downtown Boston to send a clear message to fast-food companies: they are prepared to do whatever it takes to win $15 and a union.

Their movement has inspired other workers to stand up and fight for higher wages and better treatment on the job. This summer, Boston healthcare workers, airport workers, taxi drivers, adjunct professors and restaurant workers all stood together for the first time and joined the Fight for $15 at a rally in Copley.

The time has come to end wage inequality and change the economic landscape for all workers!

For more information and to get involved, go to lowpayisnotok.org and wageaction.org.

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