Target: Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco
Goal: Enforce minimum wage laws to protect workers’ rights and improve standard of living
Recent studies have shown that thousands of workers in San Francisco do not receive minimum wage, and that many are paid ridiculously little so that they are unable to support themselves. Enforcement of minimum wage has always depended on workers’ own activism or complaints, and those who are not aware of their rights or who are otherwise not able to file complaints find themselves struggling to make a living.
Reports estimate the number of workers in San Francisco earning under minimum wage to be around 39,000. Many extreme cases of underpayment have been reported in San Francisco, including caretakers for the elderly who earn only $5.33 an hour, or garment workers who receive $2 an hour. Other workers experience deductions in their paychecks; for example, restaurant owners may hoard waiters’ tips, or refuse to pay workers for overtime.
Many of these workers are either not aware of the minimum wage law and/or do not speak proficient English to file complaints. They are often hesitant to call attention to this issue in fear of being fired and long-term unemployed.
By signing this petition you will help urge the city of San Francisco to enforce its minimum wage laws so that workers are able to work reasonable hours and make a living.
Dear Mr. Lee,
Recently I have learned that over 39,000 people in San Francisco are struggling to make a living because they are paid ridiculously far below the minimum wage. In extreme cases, workers are making only $2 an hour. In a city where the cost of living is already higher than elsewhere, this low level of pay is unacceptable. It is impossible for these workers to lead normal lives.
Many workers who are underpaid either are not aware of their rights, are unable to file complaints due to language problems, or fear doing so because they don’t want the risk of being unemployed. I believe that we should help these workers more easily obtain resources they need to speak up for themselves. An anonymous phone number or email should be maintained so that workers can easily report underpayment or wage theft. Information about minimum wage and workers’ rights should additionally be posted or distributed widely in various languages so that workers are better informed about what they deserve for their work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via Flickr