Fast food workers celebrate the past, fight for the future

Fast food workers on February 12 across the US walked off their jobs in the latest mass action to win a nationwide minimum wage of $15 an hour.

The strike for a $15 minimum wage coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers strike.

Fifty years ago on February 12, African American sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike to protest their racist bosses and because they wanted to form a union.

They told city officials that they needed a union to protect themselves from racial discrimination.

They cited the death of two of their colleagues, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, who were crushed to death by malfunctioning equipment.

The tragedy did not seem to concern the white city officials who took no action to improve safety conditions in the city’s sanitation department.

The striking workers responded by demanding that they be treated like human beings, not disposable parts. Their rallying cry became, “I AM A MAN.”

Fifty years later fast food workers are taking up the same demand–treat us like human beings, pay us a decent wage, and let us form unions to make sure that employers treat employees with respect and dignity.

“Fast-food cooks and cashiers like me are fighting for higher pay and union rights, the same things striking sanitation workers fought for 50 years ago,” said Ashley Cathey, a 29-year-old Memphis fast-food worker explaining why she would be striking on February 12. “We’re not striking and marching just to commemorate what they did; we’re carrying their fight forward. And we won’t stop until everyone in this country can be paid $15 an hour and has the right to join a union.”

Fight for $15 strikes took place in two dozen cities across the US, but the center of the day’s action was Memphis, where striking workers and their supporters rallied at Clayborn Temple and then marched to city hall, the same route taken by striking sanitation workers 50 years ago.

Before they rallied at the Clayborn Temple, 100 Memphis fast food workers and their supporters rallied at a downtown McDonald’s.

One of the workers who walked off the job was Robin Curtis, a Burger King employee and a mother of two who works multiple jobs to support her family.

When she saw the crowd gather outside of the McDonald’s near where she worked, she decided to join the strike.

“$8 (an hour) is not enough to live on. It’s time for a change,” said Curtis to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “To make a change, if I have to quit, I will.”

At the city hall rally, the Rev. Liz Theoharis, the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, told the crowd that the fight for $15 is a fight for the soul of America.

It’s wrong, said Theoharis that “there are 64 million workers in this country that make less than $15 an hour, and yet 400 families (in America) make $97,000 an hour. This is not just. This is not right.”

Theoharis said that the Poor People’s Campaign beginning on Mothers Day would be initiating a season of organizing, educating, and mobilizing to revitalize the fight for economic justice and civil rights in the US.

For forty days after Mothers Day, Theoharis said, we’ll be taking non-violent direct action including acts of civil disobedience to win a $15 minimum wage, to win the right for workers to form unions, to win the right to live free of racism, to win the right to live free of sexism, and to win the right of all working people to live with dignity and respect.

Also scheduled to speak at the rally was the Rev. William Barber II, also a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, but he was unable to attend because of illness.

In a statement issued prior to the Memphis march and rally, Barber emphasized the link between the sanitation workers’ strike and the fast food workers’ strike.

“The fight for strong unions was at the heart of the original Poor People’s Campaign,” said Barber referring to the 1960s campaign for civil rights and worker rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “It must be at the forefront of our effort as well.”

Barber did deliver an audio message to the Memphis rally.

In his message, he said that the best way to pay homage to striking Memphis garbage workers today is “to say to America . . .  , it’s time to take out the garbage.”

“Racism is garbage,” continued Barber. “Sexism is garbage; mistreating women is garbage; not paying people a living wage is garbage; not being willing to give people health care is garbage; tearing down the environment is garbage; not caring for our Latino and immigrant brothers and sisters is garbage; trying to undermine union rights is garbage; and putting more money into wars than building people’s lives is garbage.

“It’s time for a movement that will take out the garbage and replace it with a new community, a new understanding, a new justice, a new fairness, a new equality, and a new wage.”


Fast Food Justice sets sights on gains beyond $15 an hour minimum wage

Fast food workers on January 9 rallied in New York City to announce that the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs had recognized their new membership-based workers rights advocacy group Fast Food Justice.

Twelve hundred fast food workers in New York City have joined Fast Food Justice by signing pledge cards.

The pledge cards state that members want their employers to withhold regular donations to Fast Food Justice from their paychecks.

Now that the Department of Consumer Affairs has recognized Fast Food Justice, New York City employers must comply with their workers’ requests.

The regular donations will put Fast Food Justice on a firm financial footing that will enhance its fight for dignity on the job and a better community.

Fast Food Justice says that it will fight wage theft and monitor and take action to ensure enforcement of state of New York’s minimum wage law, the city’s new paid sick leave law, and the city’s new Fair Work Week law, which gives fast food and retail workers predictability about when they work and the number of hours they work.

The group also says that it will fight for affordable housing and transportation, for immigrant rights, for racial justice, and for fair policing and criminal justice reform.

“We want to bring change not only in the fast-food industry, but (also) in our communities,” said Fast Food Justice member Shantel Walker to the New York Times.

Fast Food Justice had its genesis in the 2012 fast food workers strike for a $15 an hour minimum wage and the ensuing Fight for $15 movement.

Those workers eventually succeeded in getting the state of New York to pass a new minimum wage law.

The new law increased the minimum wage in three phases. The first phase raised the minimum wage for most workers in New York City to $11 an hour, the second phase to $13.50 an hour effective December 31, 2017, and the third phase to $15 an hour effective December 31, 2018.

The workers movement’s momentum for a $15 an hour minimum wage helped bring about other benefits for fast food and other retail workers.

In May, the New York’s City Council passed and  Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Fair Work Week law, which requires fast food chains and retail employers to give employees more predictable schedules, adequate time off between shifts, and it restricts on-call scheduling.

The law also requires businesses to recognize a worker’s choice to join and fund non-profit groups such as Fast Food Justice by withholding at a worker’s request a regular donation to the group from a worker’s paycheck..

In order to have donations withheld, a group must obtain at least 500 signed pledge cards stating that its members want their donations withheld on a regular basis, and the group must be recognized by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

The 1200 workers who signed the Fast Food Justice pledge cards told their employers to withhold $3.37 from their paychecks if they are paid weekly or $6.74 if they are paid bi-weekly.

Those amounts go up in 2019 to $3.75 and $7.50 respectively.

Since Fast Food Justice is a labor advocacy group not a labor union, it won’t be negotiating collective bargaining agreements with employers, but it will be standing up for its members and other workers in other ways.

It will fight to make sure that current laws that protect workers are enforced and to make sure that worker protection laws stay in place and are expanded when necessary.

Financially stable labor advocacy groups that fight for low-wage workers may be more important now than ever.

The labor policies of the Trump administration suggest that gains that low-wage and other workers have won will be coming under attack.

The National Labor Relations Board’s new Republican majority in December overturned the board’s joint employer liability rule that allowed corporations like McDonald’s to be held partially responsible when the corporation’s franchise owners violated labor laws.

At the Labor Department, President Trump nominated Cheryl Stanton to lead the department’s Wage and Hour Division.

The Wage and Hour Division among other things enforces the Minimum Wage law and other federal laws that protect worker rights.

Bloomberg reports that Stanton at one time was an attorney for Ogletree Deakins, a South Carolina law firm.

During her work there, Stanton defended employers accused of not paying the minimum wage and of misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

Stanton is awaiting Senate confirmation. Currently, the Wage and Hour Division’s acting administrator is Bryan Jarrett, who was appointed by President Trump to lead the division until Stanton is confirmed.

According to a report given at a recent American Bar Association labor and employment law conference, “the hiring of Jarrett follows a pattern of Trump administration employees (at the Labor Department) having a background of representing employers in workplace lawsuits.”

To take on these looming challenges, Fast Food Justice recognizes that it must grow. With that in mind, it has set a goal of increasing membership to 5000 by the end of 2018 and to 20,000 by 2020.




Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approve minimum wage increase

Voters in Kansas City, Missouri recently voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

In a referendum on new city-wide minimum wage, 68 percent of the voters supported increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour immediately and then beginning in 2019 raising the minimum wage each year by $1.25 an hour until it reaches $15 an hour in 2022.

Voters voted overwhelmingly to support the new minimum wage despite a new state law passed in May that prohibits cities and other local governments from enacting local minimum wages that exceed the state minimum wage, currently set at $7.70 an hour.

The state law, which Missouri Gov. Eric Greiten allowed to go into effect, becomes effective on August 28.

In the meantime, Missouri unions announced that they will begin a campaign to raise the state minimum wage to $12 an hour.

After the result of the Kansas City minimum wage vote was announced, Rev. Vernon Percy Howard, president of the Greater Kansas City Southern Christian Leadership Conference ( SCLC), praised voters for the landslide victory.

“We are so pleased that Kansas City has demonstrated a progressive political perspective on tone and attitude on this issue,” said Howard to CNN Money. “Our brothers and sisters deserve human dignity.”

Howard also said that the vote reflects a growing concern among a broad section of the population about income inequality.

“Income inequality was and is a major issue in Kansas City and across this country,” said Rev. Howard. “We want to thank all those individuals who voted but are not low-wage workers for being people of good will.”

SCLC was one of the groups that came together to form KC for $15, the coalition that led the effort to pass initiative #3, the minimum wage increase initiative on the ballot.

Some in the media called the vote on initiative #3 a symbolic gesture because the state law nullifying local minimum wage ordinances will go into effect soon.

Howard, however, said that the vote was more than empty symbolism and that he had serious doubts about the constitutionality of the state law. Howard said that he foresees a legal challenge to the law.

Other groups that have been working to raise the minimum wage said that the Kansas City vote was an important victory but that much more work needs to be done in order to raise the minimum wage.

The Kansas City vote to raise the minimum wage give us “cause to celebrate,” reads a posting on the Stand Up KC Facebook page. “But we won’t see a penny of it because the legislature passed a bill taking away the right of voters and cities to raise wages above $7.70. Tonight is a time to be proud of our city and angry at our legislator. We will continue to fight.”

On the day before the Kansas City vote on initiative #3 took place, Stand Up KC joined Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Missouri, the Missouri AFL-CIO, and Missouri Jobs with Justice in announcing the start of a campaign to raise the state minimum wage to $12 an hour.

After making their announcement, members of the coalition began gathering signatures on a petition to put the new minimum wage proposal on the state ballot for the 2018 elections.

To do so, they will need to collect more than 100,000 valid signatures on their petition.

“This campaign takes the power out of Jefferson City (Missouri’s capital city) and gives it back to the people where it belongs,’ said Richard Franklin, a janitor and SEIU member. It’s up to us, the people, to take matters into our own hands.”

In a related development, Mike  Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO announced on August 11 that unions had gathered more than 300,000 signatures on a petition to put an initiative that would veto the state’s new right to work law before the voters.

The petition will be delivered on August 14 to the Missouri Secretary of State for validation.

If there are 100,126 or more valid signatures on the petition, the initiative will be added to the November 2018 ballot, and implementation of the right to work law will be delayed until after the vote.

“We won’t back down”; the fight for $15 gets bolder

A wave of militant action rolled across the US on November 29 disrupting business as usual as low-wage workers told the nation that they weren’t backing down from their fight to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Strikes, acts of civil disobedience, and other protests involving thousands of people took place in 340 cities.

Despite the US government’s turn to the extreme right in the November election, supporters of the November 29 day of action said that they would escalate their fight to raise wages and stop looming attacks on the working class.

“We are also protesting to reject the politics of divisiveness that tears America apart by race, religion, ethnicity and gender,” said Betty Douglas, a McDonald’s worker from St. Louis. “And we won’t back down until the economy is fixed for all workers and we win justice for all people in our nation.”

In Chicago, 500 workers at O’Hare Airport walked off the job in an unfair labor strike.

The strikers carried signs reading, “Fight for $15 and a union.”

The strikers included janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, and other low-wage service providers.

The workers said that they were striking to protest intimidation by their employers who are trying to stop the workers from organizing a union.

After the walkout, workers gathered at an O’Hare terminal to rally for a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to join a union.

Low-wage workers at 20 other US airports joined in protests to demand a $15 an hour minimum wage.

In New York, demonstrators sat down in front of a McDonald’s on Broadway shutting down traffic during the morning rush hour.

“We are here today because we face retaliation in our stores for the gains we’ve made in our pay and our continued effort to fight for better jobs,” said Jorel Ware, a McDonald’s worker to the New York Daily News. “I’m ready to face arrest and put my own safety and freedom on the line.”

“We are here to send a message loud and clear to our employers that we won’t back down,” said Jahnay Tucker, a Chipotle worker. “We are going to keep fighting for the good jobs we deserve.”

According to the Daily News, more than two dozen protesters were arrested for their part in the sit-in.

The protesters were joined by Uber and Lyft drivers, who have been fighting for union recognition.

In Memphis, about 100 people sat in at a McDonald’s near downtown and then began to march toward Interstate 240.

Thinking that the protesters were going to block traffic on the freeway, Memphis police blocked their march.

A stand off ensued that lasted several hours. “It’s a free street,” shouted the protesters to the police blocking their way.

In Minneapolis, 250 people gathered in the street in front of a McDonald’s at Nicollet Avenue and 24th Street where they blocked traffic. Twenty-one people were arrested.

Protesters then moved to a Kohl’s store in the Eden Prairie shopping center.

Janitors who work for Kohl’s have been organizing to fight for a Responsible Contractors Policy that would require janitorial service contractors providing services at Kohl’s to pay a decent wage, provide benefits, and allow workers to join a union of their choice.

“We’ve had a lot of support; it’s crazy,” said Stephanie Gasca of Centro Trabajadores Unido en Lucha (Workers Center United in Struggle), which has helped the janitors organize, to the Star Tribune. “We’ve been involved in this movement for almost two years. It’s time to pass $15 an hour now.”

In Las Vegas, Fight for $15 supporters marched through the Las Vegas Strip in the evening to a McDonald’s where six people sat down to block traffic and were arrested.

“We’re here to say, no matter who is in the White House, we’re going to keep fighting for $15,” said Laura Martin of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, which helped organize the action.

These are just a few of the actions that took place all over the US. Hundreds of people were arrested and thousands participated in street actions and strikes.

Those who took part in what organizers called “A Day of Disruption,” pointed to the gains that the Fight for $15 has accomplished in four years.

Since the first fast food workers walked off the job in 2012 to demand a $15 an hour minimum wage, 22 million minimum wage workers have gotten or will get a pay increase because the states or cities where they live enacted minimum wage increases.

In New York and California alone, 10 million workers will be lifted out of poverty because the two states increased their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In November, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington voted to increase their states minimum wage. In Washington, the minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020, and in the other states, it will increase to $12 an hour by 2020.

Organizers of the November 29 actions said that their fight will continue until all who work are paid a living wage that keeps them out of poverty.

Fight for $15 victory in Minnesota; airport workers choose union

Workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on November 14 became union members.

They joined SEIU Local 26 after a long organizing campaign that grew out of the national Fight for $15 Movement.

“This victory did not come easy, but it was worth the effort,” said Abdi Ali, a cart driver who has worked at the airport for eight years.”We are always there for each other, and now we will finally have a real voice at the airport.”

Ali and the 600 other new union members work for AirServ, a Delta Airline subcontractor. They are baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, cart drivers, wheel chair agents, and other service providers whose work is essential but whose wages are low.

Their organizing campaign began in 2013 at about the same time that low-wage workers across the US were striking and demonstrating for an increase in the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Airport workers in Minnesota took part in the early Fight for $15 street demonstrations. After the street actions were over, they took the fight for $15 to their jobs and began organizing a union.

AirServ workers and other low-wage Minneapolis-St. Paul airport workers demonstrated, picketed, petitioned, and testified for higher wages and better working conditions.

Their organized efforts won paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage for all airport workers. The new airport minimum wage was $10 an hour, $1 above the state’s minimum wage.

Those victories showed the power of collective action, but they fell short of the workers’ ultimate goal–a living wage and an organized voice on the job that could give them a say in determining the terms and conditions of their work.

So, the AirServ workers pressed ahead for union recognition. In June, the workers voted to strike unless the company recognized their union and took steps to improve working conditions.

The strike was averted when AirServ agreed to establish a process that would allow workers to decide whether they wanted to join a union without interference from the company.

But details about how workers would make this decision were left unclear.

For two months, AirServ and negotiators from Local 26 negotiated the details of a fair process.

In August, AirServ workers grew impatient and authorized another strike unless an agreement on a fair process could be reached.

Finally the union and the company agreed that the company would recognize the union if a majority of workers signed union representation cards and a neutral third-party verified the signatures.

In November after the signed authorization cards were verified, the company announced that it would recognize the union.

“I couldn’t be happier than I am today,” said Ali after hearing the news.

The union victory was especially important to Misrak Anbesse, an airplane cleaner and like most of the other AirServe workers is an immigrant from East Africa.

“Winning our union was a big step for us—and for everyone working to raise up people of color and immigrants in Minnesota,” said Anbesse.

“We’re all working together for a better life for our families,” she added.  “I know the community here in Minnesota will keep supporting us as we bargain a good contract and work to raise wages at the airport even more.”

Gov. Brown announces agreement to raise California minimum wage to $15 an hour

California Governor Jerry Brown, leaders of the state legislature, and union leaders on March 28 announced an agreement that when enacted and signed by Gov. Brown will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

The agreement is the biggest success so far for the Fight for $15 movement that started three years ago with strikes by fast food and other under paid workers.

“Make no mistake,” reads a posting of the Fight for $15 Facebook page. “Workers striking, protesting, fighting back, and taking part in the #FightFor15 are the reason that California agreed to a $15 minimum.”

The Fight for $15 movement started in 2012 in New York when after Thanksgiving, 200 fast food workers went on strike for minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Over the next three years, the movement spread to the Midwest and West Coast as thousands of under paid workers went on coordinated one-day strikes, held rallies and demonstrations, and took other street actions to make their voices heard.

In California, these street actions led to political organizing that succeeded in getting a $15 an hour minimum wage ordinance passed in several California cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Labor unions played a key role in these local political organizing campaigns.

In 2015, unions set their sights on making $15 an hour the statewide minimum wage.

Two unions SEIU United Healthcare Workers West and SEIU California circulated petitions seeking to put a $15 an hour minimum wage referendum on the November ballot.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers West collected 600,000 on a referendum petition, and in March, the California Secretary of State certified the union’s initiative for a place on the November ballot.

SEIU California was still in the process of collecting signatures on its petition when Governor Brown announced the historic agreement.

Gov. Brown did not always support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but the street actions and the political organizing campaigns made the Fight for $15 a popular issue.

A poll conducted in 2015 found that 68 percent of those surveyed supported making the California minimum wage $15 an hour.

The agreement announced by Gov. Brown will raise the current state minimum wage of $10 an hour to $11 an hour in 2017. In 2018, there will be a $0.50 increase. Then the minimum wage will increase by $1 a year until 2021. In 2022 it becomes $15 an hour. After 2022, minimum wage increases will be tied to increases in the cost of living.

Business with 25 or fewer employees will have an extra year to begin paying at least $15 an hour.

The agreement also makes home health care workers eligible for paid sick leave. California has a state law that requires employers to provide employees with three paid sick days a year, but home health care workers had been excluded from this benefit.

The agreement between Gov. Brown and labor is only the first step toward passing a new minimum wage law.

The language in the agreement needs to be put in a bill and passed by both houses of the California legislature.

That could be accomplished by adding the agreement’s language to a bill that has already been introduced in the legislature.

That could happen within a week.

Leaders of both houses of the legislature have both signed off on the agreement, which make its passage easier.

There is a chance that business interest could try to derail the bill, but Gov. Brown warned them that doing so would be bad for business.

SEIU California estimates that one-third of California’s workers will receive wage increases because of the new minimum wage law.

“Combined with workers who are already on a path to $15 because workers fought to achieve $15 minimum wages in Los Angeles and San Francisco, more than 6.5 million workers will have won a path out of poverty with a $15 wage,” reads a statement released by SEIU California about the agreement.

Guadalupe Salazar, a McDonald’s worker active in the National Organizing Committee of Fight for $15 said that the success in California shows what can happen when workers unite and fight together.

“When workers in New York City started this movement in 2012, nobody gave them a shot, and when we joined in California a few months later, people said we had no chance,” said Salazar. “But today, millions of Californians secured life-changing raises that will lift our families out of poverty. And more victories are on the way across the country. Our movement has unstoppable momentum. When workers join together and speak out, real change results.”

Strikers: “We want a better life;” raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour

Thousands of fast food, home care, and other low-wage workers in 270 cities across the US on November 10 joined the largest unfair labor practices strike yet in the campaign to increase the US minimum wage to $15 an hour.

They were joined by FedEx workers, Las Vegas parking valets, short-haul truck drivers at ports, and many other who support a living wage paycheck for all.

In Oakland, California, strikers and their supporters chanted, “We want a better life,” which succinctly expressed the desires of the strikers and the motivation behind the Fight for $15 movement whose growing momentum has vaulted it into a national political issue.

Speakers at rallies supporting the strike described the Fight for $15 as a civil rights issue, and at several rallies, speakers talked about the connections between the Fight for $15 and the Black Lives Matter and the immigrant rights movements.

In Milwaukee, Fight for $15 strikers and their supporters were joined by Black Lives Matter and Voces de la Frontera Action, an immigrants rights group, in a march to and rally at the Republican  presidential debate. A banner at the front of the march, expressed the solidarity of the marchers. It read,




“What you saw last night was three of the most important social movements in this country coming together into one movement that puts forward a common agenda and a vision of hope, ” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera Action, in a statement issued the day after the march and rally.

Fight for $15 organizers see the successful strike and the attention that it gathered as an important step toward politicizing the fight for a decent minimum wage.

A banner at the top of the Fight for $15 website has this message for federal, state, and local candidates running in an election: “Come get my vote.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for President, got the message.

Sanders spoke at a rally of federal contract workers. These low-wage workers, who clean federal buildings and work in the dining facilities that feed US House members and senators,  joined the nationwide Fight for $15 strike and have been engaged in an ongoing effort to organize a union.

“People in this country who work 40 hours a week deserve a living wage,” said Sanders to the strikers as he held an umbrella to keep the rain off his head. “And workers all over this country deserve the right to organize a union.”

In California, supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour took another step toward making the fight a political movement.

On November 9, the day before the Fight for $15 strike, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced that it had gathered 500,000 signatures on a petition for a ballot initiative that will give California voters a chance to decide whether to make $15 an hour the state’s minimum wage.

In order to qualify for a ballot initiative, the petition needed 350,000 signatures of registered voters.

“Public support for this initiative is overwhelming because people know you simply can’t live in California on $19,000 a year, and they want to create a path to a better life for all low-wage workers and their families,” said Martha Alvarez, a certified nursing assistant and member of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.

Minimum wage workers, weren’t the only ones to join the Fight for $15 strike.

FedEx workers in Gardenia, California on November staged a one-day unfair labor practices strike to push for their own demands for union recognition by FedEx.

US Uncut reports that the strike interrupted delivery service in the South San Francisco Bay Area.

The Gardenia FedEx workers were joined by other FedEx workers and others who are seeking to join the Teamsters union.

The Teamsters expressed the union’s support for all workers fighting for better wages and working conditions.

“The Teamsters joined with thousands of truck drivers, valet attendants and low-wage workers across the country today in a day of action to raise awareness about the sorry state of wages and benefits for millions of everyday Americans on the job,” said the Teamsters in a statement about the day of action.

The union’s statement of support for those fighting for a decent wage said that if workers want fair wages, they need to join a union.

“The Labor Department’s own statistics prove why joining a union is important,” said the Teamsters.” The median union worker earns more than $200 a week . . . than a non-union one. That’s why the Teamsters have stressed the importance of labor union membership in our recent “Let’s Get America Working!” campaign.