County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, City Councilman Corey O’Connor, Mayor Bill Peduto, Senator Jay Costa, Representative Ed Gainey, activists and representatives from One PA and the Pittsburgh Federation Of Teachers gathered to denounce Scott Wagner’s anti-worker stances and call for the state legislature to pass a minimum wage increase.
“Scott Wagner has put forth a proposal that isn’t enough for Pennsylvania workers,” said Senator Jay Costa. “There are 54,000 people who earn minimum wage in Pennsylvania and they are working harder and harder every day to keep up with an economy that is leaving them behind.”
Scott Wagner has called unemployed people and underemployed people making the minimum wage lazy and even said that he did not believe anyone in Pennsylvania was paid minimum wage.
“Scott Wagner’s proposal to only raise the minimum wage to $8.75 is insulting to hardworking Pennsylvanians and simply not enough,” said Harold Grant from the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. “We are not going away until all Pennsylvania workers make a family-sustaining wage.”
“All of Pennsylvania’s neighbors — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia — have passed legislation to raise their state minimum wage,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We need to raise the minimum wage to stay competitive and grow our economy.”
“We have an opportunity to make sure that as the economy shifts, it shifts for everyone,” said Mayor Bill Peduto.
The facts are clear: raising the minimum wage is not only a smart economic decision — it is the right thing to do. It will empower consumers to spend more at local businesses, which creates new jobs. It will reduce poverty statewide by 9%, meaning 160,000 fewer people living in poverty in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf has made this a priority – he has included a minimum wage hike in his proposed budget.
On the other hand, Republicans like Scott Wagner, who is running for Governor, do not believe people are paid the minimum wage anymore and just want to “get rid of the conversation” altogether. But the group gathered in Pittsburgh today made it very clear: this conversation will not stop until minimum wage workers make a fair wage and Scott Wagner stops putting millionaires and billionaires ahead of Pennsylvania’s workers.