- New York City 06/12/2015 by Linda Perry (WBAI News)
The Fast Food Wage Board convened by Governor Cuomo to examine raising the minimum wage to $15/hr for Fast Food Workers meets Monday, June 15, 2015. It's a public meeting at NYU, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South (between La Guardia and Thompson Streets). This is the third of five public meetings.
Governor Cuomo empanelled the Wage Board to investigate Fast Food Wages at a Labor Rally in early May. He said, “If you work full time, you should be able to provide for yourself and your family and move beyond poverty. That is what the minimum wage is all about, but for too many fast food workers in New York today that is simply not the case.”
According to the Labor Department, under NYS law, the Wage Board can make recommendations to raise wages without legislative approval.
The Wage Board wants people to pre-register. Go to labor.ny.gov. Testimony will be first come and if you’re registered you get preference. The board says written testimony is helpful. Oral presentations will be limited to five minutes.
New York’s 182,000+ fast food workers are among the lowest paid workers in New York and throughout the nation. Full-time employment in a fast food job still leaves a family under the federal poverty line, they earn about $18,000 per year. At a Labor rally on Thursday, Governor Cuomo reiterated what he has been saying about Fast Food Chains, that they are not paying their workers a livable wage and are costing taxpayers $700 million in subsidies annually. Throughout the U.S., 52% of fast food workers have at least one family member on public assistance, costing taxpayers $7 billion in public assistance nationwide.
On Monday, a massive outpouring of support for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr is expected at the Wage Board Hearing. Cooks & Cashiers from McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC will testify about what it’s like trying to support a family on $8.75. They will urge the Board to support Governor Cuomo’s effort to raise Fast Food Wages statewide.
Economists and religious and government leaders are also expected to testify. Hundreds of fast food workers and their allies will rally outside the Hearing. Lines are expected to form at sunrise.