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Increase the Minimum Wage

WHEREAS:

            The Fair Minimum Wage Act, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and supported by President Obama, calls for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from its current $7.25 per hour, in three steps of 95 cents. This would increase the earnings of 16.5 million low-wage Americans. The act provides automatic annual increases linked to changes in the cost of living and would gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers which currently stands at just $2.13 an hour to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage; and

WHEREAS:

            While raising the minimum wage would benefit both men and women, it disproportionately affects women who comprise 55 percent of the workers whose incomes would rise; and

WHEREAS:

            States around the country are taking the lead in raising the minimum wage. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wage higher than the current federal rate of $7.25 per hour. Legislation to raise and/or index the minimum wage has been introduced in other states; and

WHEREAS:

            An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that 15 percent of the nation’s workforce would see wages rise under the Fair Minimum Wage proposal, lifting about 900,000 people out of poverty; and

WHEREAS:

            In response to allegations that an increase in the minimum wage would result in job losses, Sen. Harkin said, “Since the first minimum wage was enacted more than 75 years ago, opponents have argued that a wage floor would cause job loss. But this is a myth. Our own historical experience shows that nothing could be further from the truth.”; and

WHEREAS:

            The minimum wage has not been raised since 2009, and the ranks of the working poor now exceed 47 million; and

WHEREAS:

            Polls show that raising the minimum wage is broadly popular. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in December 2013 found that two-thirds of Americans support a higher minimum wage. And when other surveys asked directly about increasing the wage to $10.10 an hour, at least seven in 10 respondents supported the idea; and

WHEREAS:

            Successful businesses support an increase in the minimum wage including companies like the Gap.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME supports efforts by states and cities to set their minimum wage above the federal level; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME opposes efforts by state legislatures seeking to restrict the ability of local communities to establish fair minimum wage laws; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME strongly supports and will work to ensure passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: 

            That AFSCME will support the efforts of President Barack Obama to pursue a higher minimum wage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME will lobby Congress to help resolve the gridlock that has prevented the increased minimum wage initiative from being adopted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME will help and provide assistance to councils and locals promoting initiatives intended to increase minimum wage at the state level; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME will develop campaigns to organize and mobilize workers to support the increased minimum wage initiative.


SUBMITTED BY:
Salvatore Luciano, Executive Director and Delegate
AFSCME Council 4 Connecticut
Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Egbert Isaacs, Vice President and Delegate
Sheera S. Glass, Secretary and Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Treasurer and Delegate
Diana Thillet, Executive Board Member and Delegate
Juliet White, Executive Board Member
Alan Mendelson, Executive Board Member
AFSCME Local 154, District Council 37 New York

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