Unions Push, But Few Members Will Benefit

Background Reading

Summary

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Fast-food workers in Los Angeles march in August 2013 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Similar protests around the country have been organized by labor unions. Nick Ut/AP

The spread of a higher minimum wage is a huge victory for the labor unions backing these measures — but it is unlikely most of the people getting raises will ever be part of organized labor.

The idea of a $15 minimum wage first came to the public’s attention in a series of fast-food strikes starting in 2012. Those fry cooks and cashiers didn’t just walk off the job by themselves — they were part of a multimillion-dollar effort orchestrated by unions.