Protesters rally for an increase in the minimum wage on the Great Western Staircase at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Several hundred fast-food workers and other low-wage employees from around New York gathered to pressure lawmakers to raise the minimum wage from $8 to $10.10 an hour and let local cities raise it even higher. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
FIght to Increase Minimum Wage Continues
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Fast-food workers and other low-wage employees from around New York rallied at the state Capitol to pressure lawmakers to approve an increase in the minimum wage Tuesday. A local labor leader is backing them.
"We've been pushing for a higher minimum wage for some time through legislative activity," says Richard Lipsitz of the Western New York Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO. "We're interested in seeing the wage disparity in Western New York addressed."
Lipsitz says raising the wage can happen in one of three ways, one by the employer's free will, another with collective bargaining through unions, and the third by legislative action. He says raising the minimum wage will improve the community. "It puts more money into the economy, it provides a higher floor, which would improve the living standards for lots and lots of people," says LIpsitz. "We have a sizable population living at the poverty level. Increasing the minimum wage will put more money in their pockets, and will stimulate the economy."
Lipsitz says unemployment has not gone up as a result of an increase in the minimum wage.
The minimum wage in New York is $8 an hour. There is a bid to raise it to $10.10 an hour