Workers Rally for Minimum Wage Increase & Paid Sick Days

DC low-wage workers and supporters rallied last week in Freedom Plaza to call on the DC Council to pass a comprehensive bill that will raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour, raise the tipped minimum wage, and expand DC’s paid sick days law to cover all workers. 2013_11_11_MinWageDemoThey also delivered testimony they had not been able to at the 11-hour hearing on October 28th by the Council’s Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs on legislation to reform the minimum wage and paid sick days laws in DC.

“For the past week, I’ve had a really sore throat,” testified Kathryn Seidewitz. “I had to work through all of this…I can’t (afford to) miss even a day of work to recover or go to the doctor…Healthy, well-paid workers means better workers and better businesses.” 

Respect DC Organizer Mike Wilson said that “In an increasingly expensive city, people are being forced out of their communities every day as wages remain the same but the cost of living skyrockets. It’s time to make sure that if you work in DC, you can afford to live here.” Supporters can click here to tell the Council that “DC Deserves a Raise.”

While there was broad agreement – even from corporate interests — at the recent hearing that the minimum wage needs to increase and that tipped restaurant workers should have access to paid sick days, “corporate lobby groups are trying to slow down the process and make sure DC’s workers get as little as possible,” Wilson warned. – originally reported in Union City; photo courtesy @DCJwJ