Statement in Reaction to Minimum Wage

We were told only months ago that raising the minimum wage to $15 was necessary to restoring opportunity and basic dignity to workers and their families across New York State. Political decision-makers in our state just told us that that’s only true if you live south of Westchester County.

If you live in cities like Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse – some of the poorest cities in the nation – the recent minimum wage decision in New York State condemns you to continual poverty in the future. To raise Upstate wages to $12.50 by 2021 is too little, too late.

Working people in our city are forced to choose between rent and groceries this month. That rent will not wait until 2021. They cannot turn off their electricity and wait until 2021 or even 2025 when they finally get $15.

We do not intend to wait. The fast-food worker movement taught us that when working people take bold, public action we can change the narrative of the entire country. Working people from retail, agriculture, fast-food, home-health, and more will continue to demand $15 now.

We congratulate our brothers and sisters in New York City that have won significant wage increase at a fast pace. The Fight for 15 has won major victories and raises for millions of workers across this country. This will only inspire us to continued action. The fight is not over.

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