As the time ticks down on the New York State Wage Board's three month deadline to recommend a new minimum wage for fast food workers, advocates continue to gather in cities around the state — and even around the country including in 100 degree heat in Charleston — to demonstrate for higher wages. Today, the state held its fourth and last hearing before handing down its ruling next month, hearing from workers and advocates, and receiving a petition signed by more than 160,000 for a $15 minimum wage.
Much of the hearing was tweeted out by the advocacy organization FightFor15:
"No one is looking for a life of ease and luxury. We are looking for an honest day's pay for an honest day's work" pic.twitter.com/x1X2q6WLIY— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) June 22, 2015
Workers have been sharing their stories through the hearings:
Former Vermont governor and one-time presidential hopeful Howard Dean provided a taped testimony that was played today saying: "The truth is multibillion-dollar companies can afford to raise pay — and it's about time they did," according to the Daily News.
However, nearly half of the 500 fast food restaurant owners surveyed recently said that a minimum wage of $15 an hour would put them out of business. Others said they would need to lay people off. A venture capitalist countered that point today:
Still, many opponents of the FightFor15 movement argue that Governor Cuomo was wrong to jump over the legislature and go directly to the Wage Board and others argue that the minimum wage shouldn't be raised industry-by-industry, but rather across the board, gradually.
The Wage Board is expected to share its findings next month.