Last Friday, activist brass bands from across the country descended 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.