March 20, 2017
Contacts: John Patrick, Rick Levy,
Rene´Lara or Ed Sills, (512) 477-6195
Texas Minimum Wage Increase Long Overdue
Working poor Texans need a substantial increase in the minimum wage to support their families and their communities, the Texas AFL-CIO said today.
In a news conference and in testimony before the House Business and Industry Committee, Texas AFL-CIO Legislative Director René Lara said the era in which the $7.25 wage floor was decent money has long passed.
“This is an economic issue and a moral issue,” Lara said. “Raising the Texas minimum wage, as 29 states and the District of Columbia have done, would give more Texas families a fair shot at realizing their dreams. Full-time work in Texas should produce a fair day’s pay.”
Lara rebutted assertions that a minimum wage increase would cost jobs.
“Since the inception of the minimum wage, the business community has claimed minimum wage increases are job killers,” Lara said. “Modern economic studies suggest this is simply not the case and that, in fact, there is no correlation between minimum wage increases and employment levels.”
“Texans agree in bipartisan fashion in recent polling that the minimum wage should rise,” Lara said. “We put up an online minimum wage increase petition that received nearly 1,000 signatures in 72 hours.”
“If Texas fails to act to restore the buying power of the minimum wage, our state will only increase the number of working people who are doing worse than their parents did. That is one definition of economic failure.”
The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.