service workers

Low-wage workers nationwide are continuing their fight to raise the minimum wage and have a voice in the workplace. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk about the important role women play in the labor movement, back in the 60s and today. 


Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander joined area janitors Saturday to help kick off their campaign for higher wages.

Members of SEIU Local 1, a union that represents 50,000 working people across the Midwest and nearly 4,000 in Kansas City, say that while downtown Kansas City is experiencing growth, the working people who clean it are struggling to get by.

Kander told media and local union members that the average janitor in the metro makes $1295 a month, which is well below the poverty line in Kansas City. 

These days, we've become accustomed to booking our own travel and pumping our own gas, but there was a time when tasks like bagging groceries was a job someone was paid to do. We discuss the social and financial implications of filling our day with additional unpaid tasks.


Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Some Kansas City fast food workers walked off the job July 29 in a seven city effort to hike the minimum wage to $15 and guarantee right to organize unions.   

Some 150 people marched in front of the Burger King at 47th and Troost. Democratic Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver joined in strike-support and argued for a higher minimum wage.  

"There is no empirical evidence to suggest all of the claims that we see by those who fight against the minimum wage," said Cleaver.