The Fight for $15 continues: Next week will see the largest nationwide fast food strike yet, reports USA Today, and this time protesters are hoping to influence the results of the next presidential election. The striking workers will gather at city halls across the country on November 10 to encourage constituents to cast their ballots in 2016 for candidates who support the $15 minimum wage increase.
Those include progressive underdog Bernie Sanders, as well as top Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who has been vocal about her support for higher wages for fast food workers (though she recently proposed a minimum wage increase to $12/hour, not $15). The Fight for $15 campaign is planning a major initiative to sign up unregistered voters over the next year; USA Today cites a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive, which found that "Nearly 70% of unregistered voters would sign up, and a similar share of registered voters would be more likely to go to the polls if there were a presidential candidate in favor of a $15 minimum wage and workers' right to unionize."
New York has already approved a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers to be implemented by 2018, and similar measures have been adopted in San Francisco and Seattle — but workers in many other areas of the country are still hoping to make such an increase a reality.
While proponents of the minimum wage hike argue that $15 an hour is necessary to provide workers a living wage, USA Today notes that "Most of the Republican contenders oppose raising the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, saying it will hurt job growth." A recent study by Purdue University showed that a widespread $15 minimum wage hike would raise prices at fast food restaurants by 4.3 percent. Meanwhile, a 2014 report from the Economic Policy Institute revealed that 40 percent of restaurant workers live in poverty.