Our union has long been a supporter of increasing the minimum wage, including the Fight for $15. Today we stand with progressive leaders in Congress who are pushing for a much-needed raise for working families.
Earlier this month, progressive leaders in Congress introduced a bill to more than double the minimum wage by 2024. The current level $7.25 an hour is a “starvation wage,” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a co-sponsor of the bill.
"A $15 federal minimum wage affirms the bedrock idea of fairness in our country: that hard work deserves a decent wage,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We will open up opportunities for working families and drive economic growth that lifts up all communities – because our economy works best when it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and privileged few.”
The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 was introduced by Sanders as well as Sen. Patty Murray of Washington; and Reps. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott of Virginia, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Stephanie Murphy of Florida.
It would, among other things:
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $8.55 this year and increase it over the next five years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024;
- After 2024, adjust the minimum wage each year to keep pace with growth in the typical worker’s wages;
- Phase out the outdated subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at a meager $2.13 since 1991;
- End the much-criticized ability of employers to pay workers with disabilities a subminimum wage; and
- Phase out the subminimum wage for workers under the age of 20.
Our country needs an economy that works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. Raising the minimum wage would be an important step in the right direction.