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The Minimum Wage Increase

            Protests were planned at some fast food restaurants "in about 150 cities nationwide to draw attention to the 'Fight for 15' campaign" (Clarke 8). Hundreds of workers from these fast food restaurants rallied together to "push companies to pay their employees at least $15 hourly by organizing protests across the country" (Clarke 8). Some fast food employees argue that the current minimum wage is killing them literally, citing the case of "Maria Fernandez, a 32 year old woman found dead after she napped in her car before her 3rd part-time job" (Swarns A19). Fumes from a spilled fuel container and exhaust from her vehicle were the cause of her death. In death, Ms. Fernandez has been held up as a symbol of the hardships facing the nation's low-wage workers. .
             Some also argue higher pay and benefits allows employers to attract and retain great employees. A 2006 management case study says that the higher pay has also helped companies keep lay-offs, theft, fraud and errors, low by industry standards. "There is clear and compelling evidence that the economy and companies enjoy real benefits when workers are paid more" (The Editorial Board 22). Many fast food workers do not make much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 hourly, which adds up to about $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week. Organizing protests raised awareness for the low minimum wage being paid, but it did not help in raising the wages to $15.00 for some fast food employees. The initiative to raise the minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 was passed in fall 2014. "The state's minimum wage will increase from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2015; to $8.00 on January 1, 2016; and to $8.50 on January 1, 2017" (The Editorial Board 22). Even though the minimum wage increase is needed immediately, it will only be raised by yearly increments. Some agree with the hourly minimum wage of $8.

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