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Organized labor supporting raising federal minimum wage

05.26.14

APRIL 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Organized labor supporting raising federal minimum wage

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 30th- The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, have began to rally support for the raising of the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSAct).

The current minimum wage, which covers most workers employed within many industries excluding some retail and service establishments and farms and also employ students at wages of no more than 15 percent below the minimum with proper certification from the Department of Labor, is $7.25.

AFL-CIO President recently attended a pro-minimum wage increase rally in New Jersey, stating that increasing the federal minimum wage would be good for workers and the community where they work.

Meanwhile, while both New Jersey and New York have increased their minimum wage above the federal level, in Pennsylvania the wage remains at $7.25 an hour. The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009.

Currently, there are 19 state’s and the District of Columbia that have a higher minimum wage than the federal standard. New Jersey’s minimum wage increased in January to $8.25 an hour.

Several legislative bills have emerged that would increase the Pennsylvania minimum wage in 2014 but the bills will likely not see any action because Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett does not support increasing the wage and has been lobbying fellow Republicans to not support the increase of the wage.

President Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Most of the lowest paid American workers are employed by large companies, many that have given huge raises to their executives after they recovered from the great recession. However, most have been reluctant to share their good fortune and increase their workers wages.

The United States economy has lost almost 6 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 while the American worker productivity increased during the time.

Pennsylvania Senator Christine Tartaglione (Democrat-2nd Legislative District) and Minority Caucus Secretary, has introduced a bill that would increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to what Mr. Obama requested, $10.10 an hour.