Commercial Featuring Victims of $15 Minimum Wage To Air In Response To “Fight for $15” Protests

Ad features real-world stories of harm from "Fight for 15" campaign
  • Publication Date: March 2017

Washington D.C. – Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a new commercial featuring real-world stories of the negative impacts of dramatic minimum wage increases across the country. The ad will run twice nationwide during Mornings With Maria on Fox Business on Tuesday, April 4th — the same day as the latest round of SEIU-backed Fight for $15 minimum wage protests occurring in major cities nationwide.

Watch the commercial here.

The commercial features the stories of several business owners profiled by EPI in mini-documentaries for its Faces of $15 project. They explain the consequences of dramatic minimum wage increases to their businesses. Stories include:

  • Kelley Ulmer, owner of Almost Perfect Books in Roseville CA, was forced to close her store in July 2016 due to “the ever increasing minimum wage.”
  • Houman Salem of ArgyleHAUS of Apparel in San Fernando, CA is expanding in Nevada rather than California because of the state’s minimum wage. You can read his op-ed in the LA Times here.
  • Nat Cutler, owner the Abbot’s Cellar in San Francisco, was forced to close his doors in January 2015 due the city’s rising minimum wage, as well as other high business costs in the city.
  • Larry Georgeton, co-owner of the Del Rio Diner in Brooklyn, NY, closed in July 2016 because of New York’s rising minimum wage. He explained of his employees, “when I told them we were closing the store a lot of tears were shed.”
  • Muriel Sterling, owner of Sterling’s Family Childcare in Oakland, CA had to let one employee go and release some families due to the increase. Sterling states, “This wage increase has not only hurt the employees, it has hurt the families and the children.”

The Fight for 15 campaign has been losing steam in recent months. The county executive in Montgomery County, MD, and the Mayor of Baltimore, MD, vetoed $15 wage legislation. (The Democratic City Council in Cleveland rejected a similar plan last year.) The City Council in Flagstaff, Arizona, recently rolled back an increase to $12 set to take place this summer. In Miami Beach, FL, a plan by the city’s publicity-hungry mayor to raise the city’s minimum wage was shut down by a circuit court judge. And in Iowa, the state legislature recently approved a law to set one minimum wage at the state level, rather than individual county wages.

“The Fight for $15 is a fight against the well-being of employers and employees across the country,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director at EPI, “Recent setbacks for the union-backed campaign show that right- and left- leaning legislators are recognizing these consequences.”
     For more information, visit To schedule an interview, contact Sean Kumnick at  (202) 463-7650 or

The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment. EPI receives support from restaurants, foundations, and individuals.