A op-ed published this week (Spanish, English via Google Translate) by Univision, "The Inconvenient Truth About Raising the Minimum Wage" by Daniel Garza, makes the argument that raising the minimum wage would hurt the poor. Garza's argument is as ridiculous as it sounds.
His case is the same one that has been used for decades by corporate America to fight minimum wage increases--and has created the largest income gap between rich and poor in the last 50 years. They are also losing arguments, as we've seen growing momentum and victories for minimum wage increases during the last several years.
Here are the real facts.
- Numbers from the Bureau of Labor statistics show the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1, 2014 experienced higher job growth than the states that kept theirs at the same rate.
- And minimum wage increases have a particularly significant impact on the Latino community. Despite only comprising 15 percent of the country's workforce, 25 percent of those benefitting from increases in the minimum wage would be Latino.
That includes Latinas such as Anggie Godoy of Los Angeles, who made $9 an hour as a cashier at McDonald's, struggling to help her mom pay the rent and to support her two younger siblings. Last spring, Godoy and others went on a hunger strike to bring attention to the Fight for $15 in Los Angeles. Last month, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a bill into law raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019.
The mayor of Los Angeles isn't alone. In fact, elected leaders across the country have been proposing and passing minimum wage increases for the 15 million hard working Americans who make less than $10 an hour. Higher wages would help ensure that no one who works full time lives in poverty--and help working people provide a better life for their children and their families.
As we approach the 2016 election season, SEIU will be leading the fight to help elect candidates who support efforts to raise the minimum wage, and outreach to the fastest-growing voting demographic--Latinos--which be a major part of the campaign. We will be supporting candidates who not only support wage increases, but also pledge to help fix our broken immigration system as well.
Through these efforts, we will continue to build on the successes we've already achieved and will continue to fight for the millions of American who currently earn poverty wages.