PEF members in solidarity for a living wage
The halls of the State Capitol in Albany reverberated with dozens of people who chanted “We want $15, and we want it now. If we don’t get it, shut it down!” The crowd was comprised of low-wage workers, and was supported by labor unions such as PEF, the Civil Service Employees Association and Service Employees International Union. On the Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase, worker after worker described how impossible it was to make an honest living, when getting paid $8.75 an hour. They talked about not having money to feed children, unaffordable decent housing, and not being able to advance in any way.
PEF Region 8 Coordinator Michael Blue spoke, and said PEF stands in solidarity with the workers, and that a living wage is a basic human right.
Shortly after the protesters marched out of the Capitol and shouted their message throughout the Empire State Concourse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would raise the minimum wage in New York state to $15.
PEF President Wayne Spence responded by saying, “PEF commends Gov. Cuomo for acting to increase the minimum wage for state workers in New York. With this action, the governor is lifting thousands of low-wage workers who can help contribute to a stronger economy, and to allow communities to prosper.
“This is a basic step toward fairness in society,” Spence said. “On this National Day of Action for $15, the governor has made New York state a leader in the fight for fair wages.”