The Lead

‘Fight for $15’ campaigners furious at Erie Democrat for showing hand ahead of minimum wage fight

By: - February 8, 2019 12:05 pm

An SEIU activist rallies for a $15/hr. minimum wage, which was one of the policies that F&M researchers polled in their most recent public opinion survey. (Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr Commons)

State ‘Fight for $15 activists’ are hoping to inspire a fighting attitude among a key House Democrat in the the clash to raise the minimum wage.

Keystone Progress, a progressive advocacy group, is seeking signatures to push back on comments from Rep. Pat Harkins where he suggested he’d compromise on increasing the state minimum wage.

“If we work with both sides of the aisle, we can find something in the middle, maybe, that works for everybody,” Harkins, a former teamster, told WITF following a House hearing on the wage Wednesday.

Harkins was newly named as the ranking Democrat on the House Labor and Industry committee this session, the committee that would advance any wage increase.

In response to the comments, Keystone Progress published a petition saying that “the time for compromise occurred over the last decade as workers across PA have languished with wages that are not enough to survive on.”

“Every compromise means less money for working families who are doing their best but still struggling to get by, all because Harrisburg fails to act,” the petition adds.

Pennsylvania’s is still at the federal minimum of $7.25. Every neighboring state’s is at least a full dollar higher.

In his 2019-20 budget plan, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed hiking the wage to $12 by July 1 and then gradually increasing it to $15 by 2025.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is the Capital-Star's House reporter. He previously covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter. You can reach him at 845-891-4306.

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