July 06, 2006

ANOTHER STATE RAISES ITS MINIMUM WAGE, PRESSURE BUILDS IN CONGRESS


Caption: Seamus McGoogle continues his tireless work to raise the minimum wage.

Pennsylvania will be the latest state to raise its minimum wage. This is the third state to do so since West Virginia did (sort of) in March.

The bill will raise the state minimum to $6.25 per hour on Jan. 1, 2007 and to $7.15 per hour on July 1. For employers of less than 10 workers, the increase at a slower rate, moving to $5.65 by Jan. 1, to $6.65 by July 1, and to $7.15 by July 1, 2008.

Employers of workers under age 20 would be able to pay the current minimum of $5.15 per hour for the first 60 days of employment.

Way to go, Pennsylvania!

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reports that the US House of Representatives may move to increase the federal minimum in spite of the distaste of the current ruling clique for this measure:

With Democrats plotting to make the minimum wage a major issue in this fall's congressional races, House Republican leaders are conceding that they may have to yield to pressure for an increase to the federal standard, which has been frozen for nearly a decade.


In late June, a majority of US Senators voted to increase the minimum, but the ruling faction defeated the increase by means of a technicality which required a 60 vote majority.

It is unclear at this point whether the congressional leaders would accept a "clean" minimum wage bill, i.e. one that doesn't undermine other labor standards.

One thing is clear: momentum continues to build at the state and federal level to take this long overdue step.

For recent developments on state and federal minimum wage struggles, check the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign.

GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: WAY HIGHER THAN THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE

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