On “Jobs that Pay” Pittsburgh Stop, Governor Wolf Calls for Increase in Minimum Wage
March 10, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – In Pittsburgh, Governor Tom Wolf today called upon Pennsylvania legislators to pass a minimum wage increase for all Pennsylvania workers. The increase would benefit more than 1.2 million Pennsylvania workers, many of whom are adults with families.
“I am calling on the Pennsylvania House and Senate to pass legislation that increases the minimum wage in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “A minimum wage increase to $10.15 per hour supports local businesses, creates new jobs, and would boost state revenue by roughly $60 million annually.”
Earlier this week, as part of his “Jobs That Pay” initiative, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order that ensures employees under the governor’s jurisdiction will be paid no less than $10.15 an hour.
Governor Wolf today visited Wigle Whiskey, who has been praised by Pittsburgh City Council for increasing their wages so that all of their 50 workers earned above $10.10 an hour.
“We raised our wages because we did not feel right paying our talented and valued employees the federal minimum wage,” Wigle Whiskey Co-Owner Meredith Grelli said. “We’re in a business that’s not kind to startups, yet we are making a commitment to our employees because we want to retain them and empower them to be able to provide for their families. We support Governor Wolf’s efforts to give workers statewide a living wage and help businesses reduce turnover and have customers with more purchasing power.”
The governor joined with local elected officials, including Majority Leader Jay Costa, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto, and other business owners to praise local efforts to raise wages and call on lawmakers in Harrisburg to raise the minimum wage statewide. Earlier this week, Governor Wolf visited a grocery store in Delaware County and a diner in Philadelphia to meet employers that also support raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.
“An increase in the minimum wage will lead to increases in employee morale, productivity, and quality of work and decreases in turnover and the cost of training and supervision,” said Governor Wolf.
The inflation-adjusted hourly earnings of the bottom fifth of Pennsylvania workers are lower today than they were in 1979. The current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has 18 percent less purchasing power than the minimum wage had in 1979. A full-time, year-round worker earning the current minimum wage earns less than the federal poverty threshold for a family of two. Studies have consistently shown that increases in the minimum wage have not reduced the employment of low-wage workers.
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