Last week, UFCW members joined local elected officials, labor and faith leaders, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, OUR Walmart, and other low-wage workers in Chicago as part of the “Give America a Raise” bus tour. The bus tour, launched by Americans United for Change, is an 11-state tour to urge Republicans in Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Rose Campbell, a Walmart employee and OUR Walmart leader, spoke at a rally in Chicago about Walmart worker’s struggle to make ends meet while earning a Walmart poverty wage.
“Americans agree that no one who works should live in poverty, yet the reality is that workers around the country earning minimum wage are living below the poverty line,” Campbell said. “It’s long past time for Congress to give America a raise.”
Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained the same but the of price of food, gas, utilities, and basic necessities have dramatically increase due to economic inflation, making it nearly impossible to get by anywhere in America on $7.25 an hour or $15,000 a year.
A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 63 percent of Illinois voters support raising the minimum wage to $10 – while only 33 percent are opposed – and by 11 point spread that they’re less likely to vote for Senator Mark Kirk again if he opposes it.
A new report out from Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that raising the minimum wage would increase wages for 1,127,000 workers in Illinois by more than $1.3 billion if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10, and it would generate more than $860 million of economic activity in the state.
The bus tour’s Illinois stops included Chicago, Belvidere, and Springfield.