The following is from Raise Up Washington:
SEATTLE (March 11, 2016) — The Yes on 1433 campaign, the worker-sponsored effort to raise Washington’s minimum wage to $13.50/hour over four years and allow workers to accrue up to seven days paid sick leave per year, hit the streets this past weekend to begin gathering the approximately 260,000 signatures needed for qualification.
“Nearly 100 volunteers turned out for our initial signature launch.” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO who spoke at Saturday’s I-1433 volunteer signature drive. “People from all walks of life know this measure creates more opportunity, making a real difference in the lives of over one million Washington workers. The excitement is real, and so will be the results.”
TAKE A STAND — Raise Up Washington, the coalition of union, faith and community organizations that support I-1433, are working to gather the 260,000 valid signatures needed by the end of June to qualify I-1433 for this fall’s ballot. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. Please click here to volunteer to collect signatures, help with office work at the campaign headquarters, or make a contribution to the I-1433 campaign.
The campaign received national recognition late last week when Democratic Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both endorsed the proposal.
“Raising the minimum wage is part of the national Presidential dialogue because workers across this nation are demanding a fair share of the growing economy, and know full well that when families have more independence, local economies grow and local businesses thrive,” said David Rolf, President of SEIU 775 and a leading national voice on income inequality. “We are providing leadership in Washington State on an issue that continues to inspire and drive this important national dialogue.”
A centerpiece of the I-1433 policy is the expansion of paid sick and safe leave for all Washington workers, allowing needed time to spend with a sick child, family member, or personal care. I-1433 will allow workers to accrue up to seven days per year, including “safe time” for victims of domestic violence and other emergencies.
“No one should risk losing shifts — or losing a job — to take care of a sick child, and no one should be forced to choose between exposing others to illness by coming to work sick or missing a day’s pay,” Todd Crosby, President of UFCW 21 representing more than 46,000 grocery, commercial and health care workers in Washington state. “In times of health concerns or personal crisis, everyone deserves the peace of mind to know that if they need to miss a day or two of work, they will be paid and their job will be there when they return.”
Reflecting this growing momentum, the campaign also released poll data from late February illustrating 69% support for the ballot language assigned by the Washington State Attorney General, with strong underlying support for the policy itself.
“The support we see on the street is reflected in the overwhelming numbers we see in polling,” Johnson said. “We are excited to provide Washington voters the opportunity to cast a vote that they agree will help their families and communities grow stronger.”