D.C. Workers Win $11.50 Minimum Wage Increase
NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

D.C. Workers Win $11.50 Minimum Wage Increase


About 90,000 workers will earn a higher minimum wage in D.C., Montgomery, and Prince George counties in Maryland -   December 18, 2013
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



"The Real News Network" delivers as the title indicates -"Real News". Not news cycle trash or fluff. - Laviero
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Bio

Delvone Michael is the Director of DC Working Families, a new progressive political organization launched by a coalition of labor, community and faith leaders, who want to make the District work for all its residents, not just the wealthy and well-connected. The formation of DC Working Families was inspired by the growing success of the Working Families Party in places like New York, Connecticut and Oregon. DC Working Families recently launched it's first campaign: to put a $12.50 minimum wage on the November 2014 ballot.

Transcript

D.C. Workers Win $11.50 Minimum Wage IncreaseJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

It's official. The minimum wage in D.C. will be $11.50 an hour. That's scheduled to be in place by 2016 after Washington, D.C.'s city council increased the city minimum wage from $8.25. D.C. wasn't alone, though, in raising their minimum wage. Maryland's Montgomery and Prince George's counties also raised their minimum wage to $11.50 an hour.

Joining us now to unpack this and the fight for a living wage is Delvone Michael. Delvone is the director of D.C. Working Families, a progressive political organization that has recently announced plans to put a $12.50 minimum wage on the November ballot.

Thanks for joining us, Delvone.

DELVONE MICHAEL, DIRECTOR, D.C. WORKING FAMILIES: Thank you for having me.

DESVARIEUX: So Delvone, I know your organization Working Families Party's--has been lobbying for a $12.50 minimum wage. What's your response to the recent decision to increase it to $11.50?

MICHAEL: We think it's a step in the right direction. But doesn't go far enough. You know. If the minimum wage from 1968 had kept up with inflation and the cost of living, it'd be well over $11 in D.C. today, not five years from now. So, you know, the people in D.C. need help, and we're coming soon with our ballot initiative to provide that help.

DESVARIEUX: Do you have a rough idea of how many workers will be affected by this decision?

MICHAEL: Regionally I think in the neighborhood of maybe 90,000 or so. But I think that's important to keep in mind that that's how many people are living, basically, in poverty. They're on a treadmill, trying to keep up with the cost of living, and more and more are falling off into the ranks of the poor each day.

DESVARIEUX: According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, roughly two out of three Americans say the wage floor should be lifted, and the average wage suggested is $9.41 an hour. Can you give us a sense of the legislative terrain around raising the minimum wage going into 2014? Do you see this being a really pivotal issue? We have President Obama even talking about it.

MICHAEL: I think nationally you've had to look at--21 states have gotten tired of the gridlock in Congress and taken things into their own hand, including the District of Columbia, to go in and raise the minimum wage. It's unfortunate, but that's the way things are. I definitely think in 2014 that's going to be a huge issue going into the next elections cycle.

DESVARIEUX: Alright. And can you just speak to some anecdotes? I know you work for putting this, but I'm sure you interact with people who are living with this minimum wage. Can you just speak to some stories and of people that you know?

MICHAEL: So, you know, there are tons of people around the city that come to me all the time just saying that they basically need help. I know a single mother over in Southeast D.C. struggling to survive, working at a restaurant--named potbelly's, of course--trying to put herself through school. And it's very difficult. Sometimes she's got to decide whether she's going to actually walk to work or take public transportation, or if she's got to, you know, eat at work to defray some of the costs of buying her own groceries. So it's definitely difficult for people when it's nearly impossible for them to really survive in DC. It's one of the most expensive places in the country, yet we won't show these people that we actually value, you know, their lives.

DESVARIEUX: Do you find it difficult to organize these groups of people?

MICHAEL: Not at all, actually. I think that many folks have stepped up to--they're championing the cause. One thing we left out before with the minimum wage raise is that there is no relief for folks who are waiting tables and restaurants. They left them out completely and totally. The ballot initiative that we want to put on the ballot would definitely address those folks and bring them up with everyone else.

DESVARIEUX: But, Delvone, you have people saying that you're never going to really get the wage increases you need unless people unionize. What's your response to that?

MICHAEL: I think, well, unionizing is a very important thing. And, again, some of the low-wage people who are in the fight with us around the ballot initiative have reached down and brought more and more friends and family members to come in and to join the drive and join the race.

So it's very important to unionize and to organize. That is indeed the only way--people power is indeed the only way we're actually going to accomplish what we really need to do. $12.50 is just the floor, to be honest. So $11.50 [incompr.] and $12.50 should be the floor of what people deserve, not only in D.C. but across this country.

DESVARIEUX: Alright. Delvone Michael, thank you so much for joining us.

MICHAEL: Thank you for having me.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


Bernie Sanders and Reparations
Zika Linked to Deforestation and Climate Change
Civil Disobedience and Free Speech Tested by Prayer in Ferguson
Running From the Climate Challenge
Elections, Reparations and Beyonce: Class Politics in Black America
Elizabeth Embry: We're Wasting Time Arresting Addicts
Guilt Abounds: Democrats and Republicans Struggle to Clean Up Their Image Over Flint's Dirty Water
TRNN in New Hampshire: Can Change Come From Within the Democratic Party?
SCOTUS Blocks Obama Clean Power Plan, Hinders Future of Environmental Legislation
What Does the Supreme Court EPA Stay Mean for Ohio?
Historian Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Climate Change Efforts
Foreign Policy, Trump Style
TRNN in New Hampshire: Why The Real News Went to the Primary
TRNN in New Hampshire
TRNN in Hampshire: Sanders Supporter Challenges 'Electability' Argument
TRNN in New Hampshire: Trump's Senior Policy Advisor Defends Curbing Immigration
TRNN in New Hampshire: Sanders Campaign Inspiring Movement Beyond the Election
TRNN in New Hampshire: Former Clinton Advisor Defends Hillary's Foreign Policy Record
TRNN in New Hampshire: Sanders Supporters Celebrate Sweeping Success
MD Senate Restores Ex-Felon's Right to Vote
TRNN in New Hampshire: Debating Hillary Clinton's Record on Finance
TRNN in New Hampshire: How Campaign Contributions Shape Candidates
TRNN in New Hampshire: Fear, Ignorance Drives Resistance to Immigration Reform
TRNN in New Hampshire: Cold War Rhetoric, Sander's Candidacy, and the Women's Vote
TRNN in New Hampshire: Voices of the Voters
Not Yet Free: Dr. Mutulu Shakur Will Not Be Released From Prison Today
Fire in the Belly: Black Arts in Baltimore with Rosiland Cauthen
Days of Revolt: Company Town
The Wilting UK Economy

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting