Tamara Draut, Demos Vice President of Policy and Research and author of the new book Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class, released the following statement:
"In the second huge victory for the Fight for $15 in a week, last night Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislative leaders announcement that they reached a budget agreement that would raise the minimum wage in New York City to $15 by the end of 2018 and enact the nation’s strongest bill mandating paid-family-leave time for most employees. This announcement follows a similar victory in California. Overall, millions of low paid workers in New York and California will see their wages rise.
"According to Demos’ recently released Lagging on Leave report, 6.4 million New Yorkers currently do not receive paid family leave through their employers. Under the deal reached by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature, New York becomes the fourth state in the country to guarantee paid family leave to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. The program will mandate up to 12 weeks of paid time off from a job to bond with a new child (including adopted or foster children), or to care for a gravely ill parent, child, spouse, domestic partner, or other family member.
"Across the country, workers have been sounding the alarm that they will no longer stand for meager wages and poor working conditions. Over the past few years, these brave workers, the most racially diverse our nation has ever seen, have reinvigorated our labor movement and have inspired a new generation to fight for a decent paycheck, a stable schedule with enough hours, and paid time-off when family needs are greatest. Politicians are finally taking note.
"It’s time all policymakers acknowledge the economic struggles of the working class, and propose serious policies to address their concerns. Empowering them is our best chance to return to the shared values of economic opportunity and widely shared prosperity."
Tamara Draut’s new book, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class, which examines the struggles, politics and burgeoning power of the new working class, hits stores on April 5.