More

Tens of thousands of workers are demanding higher wages and better treatment.

Workers are doing what they can to lift up themselves and their families.

True
SEIU

Something important is happening on April 14, 2016, and we don't mean National Dolphin Day (although that's pretty cool, too).

Workers across the globe are joining together to demand a living wage and the right to unionize.

The idea is pretty simple: that everybody who works should be paid enough to afford their basic needs and that it's wrong that profitable corporations like McDonald's choose to pay people so little that they are trapped in poverty.


Image via The All-Nite Images/Flickr.

What started as a movement of a couple hundred fast-food workers in November 2012 has gained tremendous momentum — not only across the country, but across the globe. It's expanded from fast-food workers to include child care, health care, higher education, and numerous other workers. Tens of thousands of workers are expected to turn out in hundreds of protests on April 14, 2016.

In advance of what the Fight for $15 is calling its "biggest ever" day of strikes, here are three inspiring things about the fight so far.

1. It's winning.

On April 4, 2016, the governors of California and New York signed bills establishing a minimum wage of $15 per hour in their states. That means raises for 9 million workers. That's HUGE.

"What we’re doing is working. We’re really making this happen," Naquasia LeGrand, one of the workers who has been part of the movement since the beginning, told Upworthy. She participated in the first walkout on November 29, 2012, and has since become a face of the movement, organizing flash strikes and even appearing on "The Colbert Report."

There's Naquasia, leading a protest. Image via SEIU, used with permission.

She recalls the first meeting she attended and what it was that convinced her to join. "It was just inspiring that we were willing to to stand up straight and tall and have our voices be heard. From there, I knew this is where I need to be to make a difference in our country."

2. It's only possible because people are banding together.

In a country that's been feeling more and more divided, it can be easy to look past the instances of people joining together. But the Fight for $15 is a pretty incredible reminder that when people work together, change happens.

As LeGrand puts it, "It made me feel that the only way Americans can survive in America is that we stick together to keep our country strong. These corporations try to divide us in so many different ways. ... We’re all in the same boat. We’re all struggling to take care of our families, to live a better life, to save money for our future."

In a delightful interview with Stephen Colbert, LeGrand explained why it's important to her to organize:

"Me as my one voice can't go to my manager and be like, 'Listen, I want these set days ... this is how much money I want' — no, I have to come with a team, I have to come with my coworkers and other workers around the country and let them know it's not just me who's going through this, it's all of us going through this."

Image via SEIU, used with permission.

3. It's about more than wages.

LeGrand enjoys and gets satisfaction from her job and goes out of her way to be a good employee. In return, the corporations she's worked for — well, they don't return the favor. The raise LeGrand received this year of just 15 cents, bringing her total wages to $8.15 an hour, only drove this point home for her.

"I enjoy working at my job and serving people and being able to please a customer knowing that I got their order right or their food was delicious or my service was so great they’re coming back again. I go out of my way for McDonald's and my customers, and they won’t go out of their way for me. ... A 15 cent raise tells you right there, McDonald's, tells you, they don’t care about their workers."

Image via SEIU, used with permission.

In addition to making it very difficult for workers to support themselves and their families, that undervaluing takes an emotional toll.

"With workers who work for so long for so little, we feel like that’s it. Like that’s what we settle for. That this is what we deserve. That we deserve $7.25," she said.

That's a feeling LeGrand doesn't want her son, who turned one in January, to ever know.

When asked about the jobs she envisions for her son, who, LeGrand says, may someday work at McDonald's or KFC given the growth in fast food jobs and stagnation in middle- and high-wage jobs, she said, "I will hope they offer better pay and of course benefits, paid sick days, paid vacation days. This is what I’m fighting for now so my son don’t have to know how it is to struggle so much for what they call a minimum wage job or low-wage job."

LeGrand is joining thousands of other low-wage workers in walkouts across the country on April 14, 2016.

She has spent almost four years fighting this fight and says she'll spend the next four years doing the same if that's what it takes. We really hope it doesn't take that long.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less

Prior to baby formula, breastfeeding was the norm, but that doesn't mean it always worked.

As if the past handful of years weren't challenging enough, the U.S. is currently dealing with a baby formula crisis.

Due to a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, labor shortages and inflation, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with formula demand and retailers are rationing supplies. As a result, families that rely on formula are scrambling to ensure that their babies get the food they need.

Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

That might seem logical, unless you understand how breastfeeding works and know a bit about infant mortality throughout human history.

Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas teaches you how to pee.

A pelvic floor doctor from Boston, Massachusetts, has caused a stir by explaining that something we all thought was good for our health can cause real problems. In a video that has more than 5.8 million views on TikTok, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we shouldn’t go pee “just in case.”

How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders we were also taught to pee before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie or playing sports.

The doctor posted the video as a response to TikTok user Sidneyraz, who made a video urging people to go to the bathroom whenever they get the chance. Sidneyraz is known for posting videos about things he didn’t learn until his 30s. "If you think to yourself, 'I don't have to go,' go." SidneyRaz says in the video. It sounds like common sense but evidently, he was totally wrong, just like the rest of humanity.

Keep Reading Show less