Monday, January 4, 2016

Wage hikes are latest sign workers are winning

The movement to raise the minimum wage paid off for workers Jan. 1 in 14 states and numerous cities across the nation. And it is a testament to the thousands of everyday Americans who took to the streets and demanded a higher salary floor in living wage protests across the country.

Workers across the nation have rallied for higher wages.
As a result, workers from Alaska to West Virginia will see a little extra in their paychecks starting this month. The largest gains are in California and Massachusetts, which are bumping the minimum wage up $1, to $10 an hour. It will help families keep food on the table as well as the economic buying power of the entire nation.

As an article in The Atlantic stated:
Efforts to raise the minimum wage paid off in 2015, and as the movement has gained momentum—the current target for many activists and some economists is $15 an hour—the debate over whether raising minimum wage is a good idea will likely become even more heated in 2016. 
On the side for raising minimum wage, labor activists argue that the current minimum wage is not enough to live on. There’s also the argument that raising it might also be beneficial for closing the gender wage gap, as women are more likely to hold minimum-wage jobs.
One instance of government listening to the people and going further on the issue is in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to raise the minimum wage for state university workers to $15 an hour. The increase will effect some 28,000 workers and is designed to include students who use work-study jobs to cover their college costs.

But clearly, more needs to be done. It is beyond unlikely that Congress will take action to raise the federal minimum wage this year. But where action can be taken on the local, state and federal front, it must happen. Hard-working Americans deserve to earn a wage that lets them live a simple but sustainable life.