Today, 48,000 Kansas City citizens are employed in some of the world’s largest and most profitable fast food and retail corporations, but they work in the city’s worst paying jobs.
The average fast food worker is now 32 years old and the average retail worker is 38, each making about $7.35 per hour with no healthcare, paid sick days or vacation pay. Fast food and retail workers joined together in 2013 to form Stand Up KC in an effort to fight for higher pay so they can afford basic needs, like groceries, housing and transportation.
Recently 69 percent of voters in Kansas City pledged support to low-wage workers and their families by voting to pass a $15 minimum wage. The latest Gallup poll indicates 61 percent of Americans now support unions, up five points from 2016.
The Jackson County Legislature pledged its support of the movement Monday by passing a resolution recognizing Stand Up KC and approving the spending of $1,500 to sponsor the organization’s fundraising event, “5 Years and Rising: A Celebration of Stand Up KC!”.
Legislator Crystal Williams, 2nd District At-Large, said, "It's hard to believe Stand Up KC is celebrating only five years’ work. They've accomplished so very much in a short period of time. I can't wait to see what they achieve during the next five years. Congratulations to the hard working women and men of Stand up KC!"
During the presentation of the resolution, Stand Up KC Director Mike Enriquez thanked the legislature for its years of support and commented, “I think that it has been incredible to see this group of workers come together with workers from across this city and across the dividing lines of this city, a multiracial group of workers that are coming together to breathe real life into the Missouri state motto which is let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”
The fundraising event is February 3, at Knuckleheads Saloon and will be hosted by The Grisly Hand, Fred Wickham Music & the Hadacol Caravan and The Country Duo. In exchange for its sponsorship, Jackson County will receive advertising and recognition in the event program, website and social media.