Central PA Delegation urges Senate to approve minimum wage increase in honor of Labor Day

WATCH VIDEO HERE: Hill-Evans | Guzman | Madsen

HARRISBURG, Aug. 31 – Members of the PA House Democratic Central Pennsylvania Delegation joined the owner of Elementary Coffee at the company’s North Street location today to call on the Senate to bring H.B. 1500 to a vote. Already passed by the House, the bill would raise the state’s minimum wage, which has been stagnant since 2007.

They also addressed the House Democratic Caucus’ additional legislative proposals to strengthen workers’ rights and protections for all Pennsylvanians, including measures to protect workers from union-busting and to extend OSHA protections to public sector workers.

With Labor Day this weekend, the delegation called on legislators and workers to remember our nation is built on the achievements and sacrifices of American workers. Workers get the credit for turning our country into an economic powerhouse, and for keeping it that way – ensuring they’re compensated with a living wage should not be up for debate.

Andrea Grove-Musselman (owner, Elementary Coffee):

“We’re entering Labor Day weekend, a day established by laborers for recognition of the working force of America. It’s not enough to talk about how workers are the lifeblood of our society. We need to make sure they have the protection of a living wage built into our laws, for all workers. As a small business owner, I’m urging the Senate to pass House Bill 1500.”

Rep. Manny Guzman (D-Berks):

“Everyday people just want access to good, decent jobs with a good, decent wage. That’s the case across the commonwealth, and it’s a fundamental right that workers need. Certain politicians are preventing that progress from happening. They’re pitting themselves against the workers they represent – their own constituents – to side with corporate interests instead.”

Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D-York):

“In today’s economy, it is very sad that a person can work more than 40 hours a week and still be eligible for state assistance programs. If we want to be able to truthfully state Pennsylvania is a good place to live and raise a family, we must support our workers and raise our minimum wage.”

Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin/Cumberland):

“Let’s honor our workers during this Labor Day by raising the minimum wage. The House recently passed a bill that will create a pathway to $15 per hour. We urge the Senate to do the same. We cannot say we value and appreciate our workers when we have kept the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour.”

Rep. David Madsen (D-Dauphin):

“Eighty-eight percent of young people want to be in a union. When I talk to them, they say the reason they’re so willing to organize, despite anti-union tactics and being threatened with losing their jobs, is that they have nothing to lose. They’re strapped with student loan debt, their rent keeps going up, but their wages don’t. They know a path forward is being in a union.

“This House has passed several bills to make it easier to form a union when faced with stall tactics by employers. Working class people had not seen the legislature working for them and advocating for them until this Democratic majority formed in the House.”

Rep. Ismail “Izzy” Smith-Wade-El (D-Lancaster):

“Fair wages for fair work. It’s a simple value, but one that many seem to have forgotten in a mad dash for ever greater profits on the backs of working people, especially as more of that workforce has become Black & Brown. We will not stop until we have a fair deal for all workers, and a just minimum wage is the first step.”