Statement on Oregon's New Minimum Wage: Will the Ballot Measure Continue?

Yesterday, Oregon’s state legislature gave final passage to a minimum wage bill that will move Oregon to the highest minimum wage in the nation. Although not a statewide $15, the partial and extended increase that will move 25 Portland area cities to $15 by 2023 is clearly the result of massive pressure brought on legislators and the business sector by 15 Now Oregon and the growing national movement for $15.Unfortunately,as all the living wage studies show$15 isn’t even enough in Portland right now let alone by 2023, andthe bill’s attempt to account for minor differences in cost of living throughout the state by phasing in three different regional minimum wages accomplishes little other than leaving hundreds of thousands of working people behind. Continue reading

Seniors, 'economic slavery' and Oregon's minimum wage

Minimum wage and seniors: About 14 percent of minimum wage workers are over 55 and would obviously benefit from a $15 minimum. Most seniors have family members who are working, and about 40 percent of workers make less than $15 per hour. Many seniors are providing housing and other necessities for family members whose wages are too low for them to live on their own. Other seniors are dependent on family members for support, in the form of housing, monetary assistance or caregiving. Continue reading

More Compromise on Oregon's Minimum Wage

Governor Brown is already compromising and working with big business and other interests to crush the $15 ballot measure without providing a $15 minimum wage to anyone in the state, not in three years, not even in six years. Now her proposal is $14.50 for the Portland area and $13.25 for the rest of the state. Both down from from the first proposal of $15.52 and $13.50 respectively. The phase in is still a ridiculously long 6 years. Continue reading

Governor Brown Proposes to Raise the Minimum Wage to “Poverty Wages Indefinitely”

Numerous polls show that over half of Oregonians favor $15. We've won the public debate on raising the min wage. We've also won the economic debate - There is no denying that it would benefit our economy. Governor Brown's proposal is just another example of how the will and demands of the public has little influence on lawmakers—policy is only created after first meeting with their donors. And why it is so imperative that we go to the ballot. The only people's feelings that will be hurt are the pocketbooks and feelings of corporations. Corporations are smart enough to know that if they are going to lose, they need to do everything they can to control just how much they lose. The following critique of Governor Brown's minimum wage proposal was written by Nicholas Caleb, and was first published at BlueOregon on January 14, 2016. Continue reading

Horizing Up Endorses Statewide $15 Minimum Wage

Horizing Up is a small printing company based in Hillsboro, Oregon. Founded in 2010 by local Portland native Loris Hervey, the company remains locally owned and operated. They provide quality screen printing and custom artwork for t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other products. The company currently has two employees and is looking to hire a third soon. All the employees at Horizing Up make $15 per hour or more. This is yet another example showing that when employees are respected and prioritized, rather than treated like costs to be reduced, even small businesses can afford to do the right thing and pay their workers a wage that affords them a measure of dignity and self-sufficiency. Meet Loris Hervey, founder and owner of Horizing Up Continue reading

15 Now PDX Disrupts, Walks Out of Minimum Wage Hearing

On Monday the Senate Workforce Committee held an informational hearing on raising Oregon’s minimum wage. They were greeted by a room full of low-wage workers and supporters in red 15 Now shirts. With about 40 15 Now supporters at the hearing, they dominated the presence in the room. At one point, all the $15 supporters were asked to stand to show their support, almost everyone in the room stood up except for the few business interests present. Continue reading

PSU Million Student March Highlights Poverty Wages Earned by Campus Workers

Students in 100 cities, including Portland, walked out of class and into the streets today as part of the Million Student March. This show of united strength aimed to make their needs heard by a political establishment and a system of corporate higher education that plunges students into a bleak future of massive debt. Continue reading

Portland Rally Demands $15 and Union for Janitors, Homecare Workers

Originally published on In Portland hundreds of people marched and rallied for $15 and a union, as part of the national day of action that brought thousands of striking fast food workers into the streets in 270 cities across the country.  As many as 700 additional cities planned protests that supported low-wage workers in other industries.   No fast food workers struck in Portland, but janitors and homecare workers raised their voices to demand a $15 wage, supported by the Portland Area Campaign for $15, a coalition made up of Portland Jobs With Justice, 15 Now PDX, SEIU 49, Laborers 483, AFSCME and others. Continue reading