By Alyna Selyukh
February 26, 2020
Kim Thomas felt drawn to being a home health aide after caring for her own ailing mother. Human dignity, she says, can be simple, like a bath and a favorite snack.
When Thomas first started visiting homes to care for patients, she made $7 an hour. That was in North Carolina about 16 years ago. Her pay inched up over time, to $10.50. To try to make ends meet, she sometimes would work through the night, dozing in patients’ homes.
That’s when Thomas, 55, discovered and joined the Fight for $15 movement, which had galvanized workers around the U.S. to march and rally for higher pay.
Initially, in 2012, it started with mainly fast-food and retail workers. But within years, the campaign drew in low-wage workers from all over, including those with jobs in airports, child and health care, even universities. It grew into one of the largest waves of labor activism in recent history.