Ginger Jentzen, a member of the victorious campaign that has seen Seattle become the first city in the USA to agree to a $15 per hour minimum wage, will be speaking at a trade union conference on 5 July that will see a similar campaign launched in the UK. In the US, the struggle had a decisive boost by the election of Kshama Sawant, the first elected socialist councillor in the city for 100 years.
Ginger will be speaking at the annual conference of the National Shop Stewards Network, a rank and file union organisation initiated by the RMT and its leader Bob crow in 2006. Alongside her on the platform will be Ronnie Draper the leader of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) which recently launched the Fast Food Rights campaign with groups such as Youth Fight for Jobs, who will also be addressing the event.
Helen Pattison, a former zero-hour contract worker and a spokesperson for Youth Fight for Jobs said:
“We are serving notice on exploitative employers. No longer can companies like McDonalds complacently assume they can get away with making billions in profits while their employees are queuing outside food banks. Seattle’s $15now campaign has shown that the multinationals can be beaten. Young workers like me are sick of putting up with low pay, insecurity and zero-hour contracts. The government talk about economic growth, but what they really mean is growth for the rich 1%. We are working with Fast Food Rights and Bakers’ Union to help get workers organised to use their collective strength in fighting for better conditions. On 5 July we’re sending a message to employers and politicians alike: We’re following Seattle’s lead and demanding £10 now. They’d better take note.”
At its national conference last month, BFAWU called for the minimum wage to be raised to £10 per hour in order to take millions of people in the UK out of poverty. Fast Food Rights also took part in the 15 May global day of action - fighting to improve the rights of workers fast food by recruiting them into unions.
Youth Fight for Jobs is a campaigning youth organisation that is supported by 7 trade unions and organised the Jarrow to London youth march in 2011.
8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Strike Together for a Pay Rise! http://shopstewards.net/2014/05/workers-are-saying-what-recovery-we-want-our-share/
It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President
Ginger Jentzen, of $15now, is arriving in the UK on 4 July and will be available to interview in person. She is also contactable by email, phone and Skype before then.
For information and to arrange interviews please use contacts below:
134 690, 07768 950957