Strikers Call for $15 Minimum Wage

Commentary & Community

Strikers Call for $15 Minimum Wage

Fast food workers in 15 states are staging a strike demanding a $15 minimum wage and unionization, part of the “Fight for $15” movement.

 

Some activists and workers have long been pushing for a $15 minimum wage at the federal level. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. Twenty-nine states have higher minimum wages than the federal mandate, and 27 states, cities, or counties have minimum wages of at least $15 per hour.

 

The striking workers are calling on Congress and the president to increase the federal minimum wage. This is something that incoming president Joe Biden supports. With a Democratic-controlled Congress, this idea could become law this year.

 

Those pushing for a higher minimum wage say that every worker deserves to be paid a living wage. They contend that increasing the minimum wage will increase worker productivity and ensure more fairness in society. Those opposed to it counter that the government mandating that every worker must be paid $15 per hour will hurt workers with few skills and those entering the job market. They also argue that businesses are already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and many cannot afford to see such a large increase in salaries.

 

If enacted, a $15 minimum wage would likely be phased in over a period of years.


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