VICTORY: New York State minimum wage bill passes

The struggle for economic justice and a living wage for all showed how powerful a force it can be as the Republican-controlled State Senate today joined the Democratic Assembly in overriding Governor Pataki’s veto and passing an increase in the New York State minimum wage to take effect January 1, 2005.

In voting by a large majority to increase the minimum wage, Republicans in the NY Legislature joined the electorate in the “red”states of Florida and Nevada who also voted by large majorities to support increases in the minimum wage in those states.

“Significant majorities of people are showing they believe that working families should not be poor,”said Living Wage Coalition organizer Carl Feuer. “The movement for economic justice unites people across the political divide. It is only the rich and businesses like Wal-Mart that earn billions for their owners by keeping wages down that oppose it.”

The Living Wage Coalition is now campaigning to win a living wage for workers at the new Ithaca Wal-Mart. “Wal-Mart is truly one company that can afford to do better,” said Feuer. “It can provide the low prices that working families need while also providing the living wage that working families deserve.”