Colorado Service Workers Hold Senators Accountable on National Strike for $15 Day

Denver, CO – Today, service worker members of Colorado Care Workers Unite and Colorado WINS are taking email, phone, and digital video actions in solidarity with fast-food workers in 15 cities across the country who are going on strike for higher pay, safer working conditions, and respect on the job. Colorado’s service workers are concentrating their efforts on Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, urging them to do the right thing and vote to pass a $15 minimum wage as quickly as possible.

A federal $15 minimum wage has never been closer to becoming a reality. With $15/hr, 32 million workers will earn a raise — including 19 million frontline essential workers. Including the $15 minimum wage in the COVID relief budget bill currently moving through reconciliation is the fastest way to get raises into families’ hands and move the country ahead. 

Colorado’s care workers and state employees are calling on Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to take bold action by voting in favor of President Biden’s COVID relief package, which includes a $15 minimum wage and aid to state and local governments. Colorado service workers have launched email and call-in campaigns to hold their Senators accountable to the promises that got them into office.

“I’m on board with the $15 minimum wage at the federal level. That would mean a lot to this community,” said Francisco Flores, a custodial worker at the Auraria Higher Education Center and state employee, in a video call to action. “We sent you to Washington DC, now we expect you to work for us. Vote yes on $15.” 

Adding to the fast-food worker strikes Tuesday, home care and nursing home workers who are members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Service Employees International Union, as well as care workers who are fighting for their own union, will also be holding actions in support of a $15 minimum wage. They’ll be demanding that essential caregiving jobs be good union jobs with family-sustaining wages, benefits, and training to provide the highest standards of care. 

“I’m a healthcare worker, I’ve been one for almost 13 years,” said Scarlett Markus, a Denver home care worker in another video call to action. “You said we were valuable during a pandemic, show us [we still are] by giving us $15 an hour.”

Last year, we saw Republican lawmakers pick and choose who gets to survive and thrive. This year, we have a chance to make the way for a better Colorado, but only if we go all in for all of us. Now is the time for Congress to step up and do everything necessary to contain, control, and end this pandemic by supporting President Biden’s COVID relief plan to help all people in pursuit of a healthy and thriving Colorado by passing a national $15/hr minimum wage and investing directly into state and local governments.