Dozens of Local 79 members and members of other LiUNA locals joined members of other New York City unions on September 10 to hear Governor Cuomo announce that the state Labor Department has approved the recommendations of a wage board to increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour. About 180,000 workers will be impacted by this increase, which will be phased in. Governor Cuomo also announced that he is asking the New York State legislature to increase the minimum wage for all workers to $15 an hour. Cuomo was joined on the stage by labor leaders and Vice President Joseph Biden, who spoke about the need for every state to adopt similar wage standards.
The increase announced by Governor Cuomo was brought about by 200 New York City fast food workers, who courageously went on strike in November of 2012 to demand $15 an hour. This job action led to a national movement that has won victory after victory. Local 79 members have been front and center at the Fight for $15 protests that have occurred over the past three years, demonstrating their solidarity with low-wage workers in New York City and throughout the country.