Friday, April 07, 2006

Group fights to raise North Carolina's minimum wage

A new coalition group is fighting to boost North Carolina’s minimum wage.

The group, "North Carolinians for Fair Wages," is calling on state senators to pass a new bill before the state House that would raise the minimum wage by 85 cents per hour.

That would up the state’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $6 per hour.

North Carolina tracks the federal minimum wage which has not been raised since 1997. Supporters of the bill said the current minimum wage has lost its value because of inflation.

"They're having to work more hours and harder and both the husband and wife are having to work to meet their most basic needs,” said Sorien Schmidt, N.C Justice Center. “I think it's more of a general understanding by the public that goes much higher than the lowest wage workers but right into middle-income workers that their dollars aren't going as far."

State senators will decide whether or not to pass the bill at the next legislative session on May 9.

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