Today Senator Tom Harken (D-IA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) announced they will introduce the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. The legislation would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. In addition, the bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees from $2.13 today to 70% of non-tipped minimum wage.
Harkin told the Huffington Post “When you see what’s happened to CEO salaries and compensation since the 1970s, and what’s happened to the minimum wage, it’s just startling… We can’t continue on this way. We need a higher minimum wage.” Miller echoed similar sentiments “People do see the minimum wage as a matter of justice for people who don’t have the ability to bargain for decent wages… And that’s all this is – it’s a minimum wage. Nobody’s walking away from here rich.”
During his State of the Union speech in February, President Obama argued in favor of raising the minimum wage, though only to $9.00 an hour compared to Harken-Miller’s $10.10. But in a USA Today/Pew Research Center poll, 71% of American supported the President’s proposal for an increase in minimum wage.
Media Resources: Press Office of Tom Harken 3/4/2013; USA Today 3/4/2013; Feminist Newswire 2/13/2013
Waitress taking order in a fast food restaurant from Shutterstock