President Obama signed an Executive Order Wednesday increasing the minimum wage for new federal contractors to $10.10 per hour.
“Full time work should not be rewarded with full time poverty. Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs should have a chance to support themselves and their families and build a little economic security. It is time for Congress to act and raise the minimum wage.”
“I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for every working American.”
This will be the largest action yet in the recent history of the fast food labor movement, with actions in 200 cities. Protesters are calling for $15 an hour wages, almost double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
The raise will help over 600,000 workers, particularly women, who make up nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers nationwide.
52 percent of fast-food workers are forced to enroll their families in public assistance programs to get by, costing American taxpayers almost $7 billion annually.
California enacted a law Wednesday that will gradually raise the minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.