Cleveland, OH – Nearly 100 activists and concerned community members rallied at Walmart on Wednesday to urge employers and elected leaders to raise the minimum wage.
As part of a nation-wide event, Fight for a Fair Economy Ohio (a project of SEIU District 1199) was joined by Policy Matters Ohio, SEIU Local 1, Ward 5 Councilman Matt Zone and a large coalition of other like-minded organizations urged companies like Walmart to lift their employees out of poverty by increasing wages. The event coincided with a major economic policy address given my by President Obama who laid out a bold framework for how to grow our economy and address the critical economic issue of our time – income inequality.
At a time when basic necessities, like putting food on the table, paying a rent or mortgage and making sure there’s gas in the tank of your car become more difficult to maintain, workers across Ohio and the nation are looking to their employers and elected officials for a solution. The last increase to the minimum wage, at $7.25 per hour, occurred 4 years ago. Currently, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) is making its way through Congress and would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015, in three steps of 95 cents each, index raises to inflation and raise minimum wages for tipped workers.