Jamie Eldridge Arrested While Protesting for $15 Minimum Wage in Cambridge
State Sen. Jamie Eldridge was one of three dozen protesters arrested by Cambridge police in Central Square early Tuesday morning.
The Acton Democrat and co-chairman of the Committee on Financial Services joined the demonstration outside the McDonald’s restaurant advocating for a $15 minimum wage. He was the only elected official arrested.
“I’m very proud of the brave workers for having the courage to stand up to billionaire corporations and to fight for what they deserve,” Eldridge said in a statement. “Big corporations have been exploiting lower-wage workers for decades, forcing people to work long hours and tough schedules without receiving fair holiday or sick pay, and without receiving a living wage.”
— Andrew Farnitano (@afarnitano) November 29, 2016
— Fight For 15 Mass (@fightfor15mass) November 29, 2016
The state minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour on January 1, after several efforts for a $15 minimum wage fell flat on Beacon Hill. The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009.
“I’m a mother of two and I work two jobs yet event when I piece together my checks week to week it’s still not enough to move my family out of the shelter,” said Barbara Fisher, a Dunkin’ Donuts worker arrested with Eldridge. “I can no longer stay silent. I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win $15 an hour and union rights for not only my family but for the 64 million workers facing the same struggle that I face each day.”
The protests were led by the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, and coincide with similar demonstrations at East Boston Memorial Park and the State House as part of the nationwide Fight for $15 Day of Disruption. Cambridge Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert told the SHNS that the protesters would be sent to Cambridge District Court in Medford in groups of 12.