Workers

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You’re taking order after order at a drive-thru, answering phones in a call center, stocking shelves, mopping floors, cleaning fryers, prepping and assembling food: sometimes it feels like if you’ve had one job like that, you’ve had them all. And in a very real sense, that’s true. Working in this economy all too often ends up being a revolving door of jobs that are different in name but not in substance. Jobs like these pay wages far too low to survive, have no consistent hours, no benefits, no control over your own workplace. For the majority of workers in these jobs, the next job is a step sideways instead of a step up. Moving from working the fryer at Wendy’s to the register at Carl’s Jr. to the sandwich counter at Subway doesn’t help build a future for low-wage workers, it just keeps us stuck in more of the same. So where do we go from here?

WHAT WOULD A RAISE MEAN FOR YOU?

A real raise would mean big changes in our lives. Would more money go to finally getting a place of your own? Or a car? Would you get braces for your child or dentures for your mom? How much more money could you save for your goals or send home to help your family?

You know your job makes money; you see it flow through the register every shift you work. In Oregon in 2013 there was $53,000 in sales for every restaurant and fast food worker. But how much of that money makes it to you or your coworkers?

HIGH FIVE: WE NEED A RAISE!

We are worker who want a raise, but it’s also much bigger than that. The campaign is about workers fighting for control over our jobs and futures. Higher wages are just the start. Although there are many changes needed — healthcare, sick days, job security — first we need power in our workplace to make those changes.

You may not feel it when you’re standing at the register or working the line in the back, but together we have the power to win major changes. There’s no need to wait and hope that a politician passes a law that’ll benefit you. A movement of workers standing together, not just with their coworkers but with workers in similar conditions all across the city, can shift the balance of power and give us control over our jobs and our lives.

WHAT WOULD A REAL RAISE MEAN FOR YOU?

You might be tempted to laugh and blow that question off. A real raise is totally outside the realm of possibility, right? But take a minute to think it over. Would more money go to finally getting a place of your own? Or a car? Would you get braces for your child or dentures for your mom? How much more money could you save for your goals or send home to help your family?

You know your job makes money; you see it flow through the register every shift you work. In Oregon in 2013 there was $53,000 in sales for every restaurant and fast food worker. But how much of that money makes it to you or your coworker working alongside you? Right now you’re working hard so someone else can have a comfortable life and stable future.

HIGH 5: A RAISE FOR ALL WORKERS!

Our demand is a raise for all workers, but it’s also much bigger than that. The High 5 Campaign is about engaging workers in the fight for a living wage and the fight for control over our jobs and futures. We know that higher wages are just the start. Although there are many battles to fight–healthcare, sick days, job security–those fights all start with the same foundation: your power in your workplace.

You may not feel it when you’re standing at the register or working the line in the back, but together you and your coworkers have the power to win major changes. There’s no need to wait and hope that a national organization targets your boss. There’s no need to wait and hope that a politician passes a law that’ll benefit you. A movement of workers standing together, not just with their coworkers but with workers in similar conditions all across the city, can shift the balance of power and give us control over our jobs and our lives.

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