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Workers Rally to Raise PA Minimum Wage

WILKES-BARRE — More money: that’s what some people in Wilkes-Barre say they deserve, and that’s why they’re fighting to raise the state’s minimum wage. They held a rally on Public Square on Thursday.

The sounds of chanting filled Public Square in Wilkes-Barre around noon.

“”We can’t survive on $7.25!”

These workers want to raise the wage, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage that is, from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

“I know and you know and everybody in your viewing area knows that you cannot live on minimum wage. You have to work three jobs,” said NEPA Area Labor Federation coordinator Roxanne Pauline.

The NEPA Area Labor Federation organized the rally. It’s one of nine that have happened across the state. Next month, they plan to meet in Harrisburg and get the word out to lawmakers that after five years without an increase, it’s time to raise the minimum wage.

They already have some political support from people including Representative Eddie Day Pashinski.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is our cross today. This is our cross to bear. We cannot give up,” said Rep. Pashinski.

 

Gurinberpal Bahl of Rice Township works for T.J. Maxx and is a member of the Workers United union. He says he’s able to fight for pay raises because of his union membership. But before he was a member, he couldn’t. Now his teenage daughters earn minimum wage at their part-time jobs.

“$7.25 is a joke. You can’t live on it. You can’t pay apartment rent,” said Bahl.

He says he still has to support them and that’s why he’s now speaking out about raising the minimum wage.

“I feel really bad about it, and I want to do something, so at least I can do this and come over here to support them,” said Bahl.

Again all of these people speaking out at these raise the wage rallies plan to meet up and do one big rally in Harrisburg next month. They’re also organizing petitions and writing letters to lawmakers. If you’d like to become involved, you can search raise the wage or NEPA ALF on Facebook.

5 comments

  • Lorie

    Yeah, because things are working just great the way they are now…. If they raise minimum wage, wouldn’t people spend more money? Wouldn’t profits increase for businesses? Why is it ok to pay 7.25 an hour to the people who, in my opinion, work the hardest? Why do people have to be CEO’s or lawyers to be able to get by? What would we do without custodians, mechanics, daycare workers, and yes, the people who serve your fast food? They deserve to live off their paycheck, I’m sorry!

  • chris

    Unfortunately democrats are going to cater and push for this because its politically profitable but economics is a little more complex than simply paying people more money. Forcing employers to pay more money is only going to encourage employers to hire higher skilled employees and the low skilled workers are going to be left without a job and would contribute to unemployment especially amongst young people plus would increase the price of commodities.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    If I was there I would have said, how many people protesting? 10 ok we will raise the minimum, but 5 of you lose your jobs because the small businesses you work for will have to let you go to afford the others…..see what these people don’t understand is actions have consequences

  • Insider

    If they raise minimum wage, everything else will go up so therefore they still cannot afford rent, cars, food.. etc. Get out of these dead end jobs and learn a skill like the rest of us so that you can earn a decent salary. You people need to do more research. It’s not as simple as raising the wage to earn more money.

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