On “Jobs that Pay” Tour Stops, Governor Wolf Calls on Harrisburg Lawmakers to Pass Minimum Wage Legislation

March 31, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Earlier this month 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 Tom Wolf is now calling 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.”

In Wilkes Barre, Governor Wolf visited Simon Arias Agencies. Simon Arias Agencies represents American Income Life Insurance company products, and has ten locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Florida.

Simon Arias, owner of Arias Agencies, said, “Our agency was named the number one small business workplace in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. My hourly entry pay is $15 – more than double the inadequate $7.25 minimum wage. Our life insurance agents visit over 1,200 Pennsylvania working families a week. Every day we hear from hardworking men and women who want to protect their family’s future with life insurance but are struggling just to make ends meet. Raising the minimum wage will help insure a more sustainable economy in our state for both workers and businesses.”

Mike Clemente, Regional Director of Arias Agencies for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and host of today’s event, said “Our business supports increasing the minimum wage statewide to $10.10 and then adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of living. We know our employees are the best investment in our agency’s long-term growth. Paying a higher wage has not hurt our business. Quite the opposite: fair wages have been a critical component of our business growth and success.”

Following his tour stop at Simon Arias Agencies, Governor Wolf stopped at Parkway Caribbean Restaurant & Convenience Store. The restaurant features three venues in one concept called Multi-Branding; A Fast Food Restaurant, A Convenience Store, and a lounge/after work spot. The restaurant serves the best Jamaican Beef Patties, Jerk Chicken and Ox-Tail in town in addition to other great Caribbean cuisine.

“As a business owner who has run a small shop in the Allentown region for over twelve years, I have seen employees and customers alike from all walks of life. I understand that folks need to be able to provide for their families, and that is why I pay my employees a fair wage,” said Rose Thomas, owner of Parkway Caribbean Restaurant. “I’m thrilled to welcome the governor to my restaurant today, and I’m proud to support his efforts to give workers statewide a living wage.”

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