Struggling for Community and Worker Power

President’s report

By Luis Torres

Joan Collins Lambert’s article in this issue states why we are ready to take on our newest campaign, the “Fight for 15,” and why it is so important for us to do the work to ensure that fast food workers deserve a living wage. I just want to stress that only a member-driven organization like ours is able to put the time and resources to engage workers that traditionally have been thought of incapable of being organized--we are building worker power that is needed to build our larger movement!

I believe this also gives us the opportunity to change the way we do all of our other work. Our commitment to campaigns like these one is not based on a belief on legislation as the answer to economic disparity; we see it as a stepping stone to build a larger movement. In addition to our Fight for 15 work, Metro Justice is joining the call for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour, indexed to inflation. We are doing so in a time when politicians traditionally would have an easy out by saying that the minimum wage is already going up.

That being said, we still need commit to building the real solution: community and worker power. It is this work in other parts of the state that has helped to put attention back again on the minimum wage, and it is that kind of work that will build our ability to create an atmosphere for change in Rochester.

Our commitment to create an atmosphere for change on the state level will also influence and be influenced by our work for the Fight for 15. Our partnership with the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York helps us create that atmosphere, even though we do not get involved in endorsement and other political work. Our role is a specific one, and we would love to discuss with you what that looks like in depth; check out my blog post TITLE HERE at URL HERE, for more insight into that process.

Ours is a role that your membership makes possible. Thank you again for being a Metro Justice Member.

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