Low-wage workers organize on Tax Day to demand better pay in ‘Fight for $15’ Cause


Midtown Manhattan, Wednesdfay, April 15, 2015

By Mike Leventhal

APB Staff Writer

Midtown Manhattan has a number of rallies, walkouts and marches on Wednesday, April 15 as activists and workers banded together to declare war on low wages.

The Fight for $15, a national movement for a higher minimum wage base pay, also held rallies and protests in cities across the country, from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Globally, events were held from Tokyo to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Organizers said they chose this day to highlight the tax breaks given to corporations while many low-wage employees turn to public assistance to survive despite working 40 hours a week.

The massive event has garnered huge buy-in across movements and unions — even among the traditionally more conservative building trades.

The NYPD was out in force, letting it be known that that they were present but as many of the street officers are in a union themselves, many were sympathetic to the city workers just truing to make a living.

The union trades mixed throughout the day with home health aides, adjunct teachers, big-box store clerks, airline workers, fast-food employees and other low-wage earners.

The events started early in Brooklyn, with a dawn protest outside a McDonald’s on Flatbush Avenue, followed by a noon “die-in” at another McDonald’s in Manhattan.

The protest continued with similar events and strikes at fast-food restaurants nationwide.

At 5 PM, one of the day’s biggest events kicked off at 57th St. and Seventh Ave. a rally with Lomax’s members and other laborers.

Home health-care aides, wearing white lab coats and backed by steel drum and brass bands, held a rally at 4 PM at Central Park West near Columbus Circle.

By 6 p.m., those events and others around the five boroughs — including one at Columbia University, converged in Columbus Circle.

From there, the group marched to Times Square.

Organizers said they some 15,000 underpaid workers, union supporters and community activists participated in the push for a $15 per hour minimum wage.