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Boston fast food, childcare, homecare workers rally for $15 wage

7/30/2015, 6 a.m.

The day after New York’s fast food Wage Board recommended a $15 minimum wage, local fast food, childcare and homecare workers rallied at the State House, applauding the Empire State’s move and declaring that they, too, need $15.

The increase recommended by the Wage Board, convened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would hike the pay of 200,000 fast food workers across the state.

“We need $15 not just in New York, but also in Boston,” said Darius Cephas, who has worked in the fast food industry for two years, but makes only $9.25 an hour and has to rely on food stamps to eat. “And we’re going to get it just like the workers in New York got their $15 — by joining together and speaking out.”

The rally in Boston was one of dozens held across the country on Thursday. Fast food, childcare, and homecare workers from coast to coast gathered to call on Gov. Cuomo to adopt the Wage Board’s recommendation and to make it clear that workers everywhere need $15.

“Just last month, 35,000 PCAs in Massachusetts fought for and won $15/hour,” said Petaree Blair, a Massachusetts Personal Care Attendant. “Now we are standing with fast food workers across America who started this fight. We know that when workers stick together, we can win life-changing victories!”

Once considered a long shot, $15 is now a reality in cities like Seattle, SeaTac, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and is the minimum pay at leading companies like Facebook and Aetna. Noting how striking fast food workers have changed the politics of the country, the New York Times declared that “$15 could become the new, de facto $7.25,” and the Washington Post said $15 has “gone from almost absurdly ambitious to mainstream in the span of a few years.”