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The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
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Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston Students Join the Campaign for Raising The Minimun Wage

On March 26, a group of college students from all over Boston came together at Northeastern to do a campaign kickoff to raise minimum raise to $15 an hour. A group of students from the University of Massachusetts Boston showed their support of this cause.

This campaign matters to many students because students, as well as new graduates, are struggling to survive out in the working world. Across the country, the movement has started to push for fair wages and the right to form unions without retaliation. As students, we must be at the forefront of this struggle.

Many students work to put themselves through school or face massive debt. Students understand first hand the need to improve working conditions in this country. It’s time to take action. During the event there was a panel consisting of representatives from industries such as airports, home care, and fast food.

“Students are standing in solidarity [from] UMB, RCC, Emmanuel College…to fight for $15/hour for adjunct professors and students’ work studies on campus,” said La’ree Barbosa, a UMass Boston student as well as an activist. “Students are important to this movement because we have the energy, the resources, and the knowledge to fight for change in our cities. Also, graduating with a college degree doesn’t guarantee a high-paying job for most college students.”

The students recognize their fight against income inequality as being directly connected to the ongoing fights for immigration justice, for environmental justice, for access to affordable education, and against discrimination in the workplace and in the community, specifically with regard to women and people of color. This fight for $15 is more than just having money in young people’s pockets. It’s the beginning of a bigger change for the new generation. It is trying to give the new generation a chance to be able to be on the same level as the working class. This fight is leveling the playing field.

April 14th was when the actual march happened. A large crowd of well over 100 people gathered in a park near Northeastern. There were testimonies of current workers in the food industry who shared with the crowd the personal meaning of this march and fight. One African American women spoke about having to raise 11 kids and only making $9.50 an hour, with a child on their way to college this fall.

“I went with Professor Van Der Meer to the fight for 15 campaign kickoff. I was there to show support because I have worked in the food industry at UMass [Sodexo] and I understand the struggle,” said Tucker Gaye. “We have students here, such as myself, who ha[ve] three and four jobs, going to school full time, waking up after only getting three or four hours of rest.”
There were many people at the march who identified with Gaye’s story; not just students, but also parents who worked multiple jobs to support their families. Once the March began, it started at Northeastern and ended at the Boston Commons. As the marchers marched down the road, many people joined them from off the sidewalks. Business people came out of their offices to show support and call out chants with the marchers. The fight is not over for 15; it has just begun, and many people are ready to support it.