State legislators, low-wage workers, and advocates host sign-on event for landmark minimum wage and sick leave bills

Farrell, Jinkins, Jayapal, and Habib invite colleagues to make history with paid sick days and a $12 minimum wage

The movement to raise up our economy and turn back income inequality moves to the top of the agenda at the State Capitol on Thursday, when key legislators host a sign-on event to invite colleagues to co-sponsor their bills to raise the minimum wage and establish a minimum standard for paid sick days. 

Few issues before the Legislature can match the overwhelming level of broad-based public support across the state for this pair of bills to raise up workers, communities, and our whole economy. Approximately two-thirds of voters support a statewide $12 minimum wage, and paid sick days garner an even stronger majority. At the same time, greedy corporations are lining up to maintain the status quo.

Who: Prime sponsors of minimum wage and sick leave bills, joined by co-sponsors, low-wage workers, community business owners, and other supporters.

What: Legislators will ask colleagues to join as co-sponsors of bills to raise the state minimum wage to $12/hour and establish a minimum standard for paid sick days. Legislators, poverty-wage workers, community business owners, and others will speak in support of legislative action to make history by raising up workers, communities, and our economy.

Home care workers will also be holding an event at 12:30 pm in the sundial area with large posters showing their personal budgets to raise awareness about the impact of low-wages on home care workers and vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities who they support.

When: Thursday, January 15, 2014, 12:00 pm

Where: House Hearing Room B

Our state minimum wage of $9.47/hour is not nearly enough to afford the basics and contribute to the economy. It takes a full-time job paying $12.48/hour to afford even a studio apartment in our state. And one million workers in Washington don’t have any paid sick days — which means they’re far more likely to come to work when they’re sick. 

Working people want to support themselves and keep their families healthy — but that can be impossible when you’re paid poverty wages and don’t get paid sick days. While the large corporations that employ two-thirds of low-wage workers are highly profitable, the rest of us are left to fill the gap with food stamps, health care and other assistance.

More information

  • Washington State’s job growth has led the nation since voters passed our landmark 1998 minimum wage law.
  • A year after higher wages, sick leave protections, and other workplace standards took effect at large SeaTac hotels and parking lots, more than 1,000 workers have a living wage, and no negative impacts have been detected. In fact, Cedarbrook Lodge is in the midst of a $16 million expansion, and local parking lots are boasting of their best year ever.
  • Business lobby groups have been telling the same scare stories for more than 100 years of debates on raising wages and raising standards. But their stories never come true, because our economy doesn’t grow from the top down — it grows from the middle out.

Contact:
Adam Glickman: adam (dot) glickman (at) seiu775 (dot) org

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