Fight for $15 Coalition Responds to Passage of Minimum Wage in CT Senate

Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, and Joseph Franklin, leader in the Fight for $15 coalition and a McDonald’s worker in Hartford, issued the following statements in response to the State Senate passing the bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023:

Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

"After years of grassroots organizing, Connecticut will finally catch up to our neighbors – Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey – who have already passed a $15 minimum wage. We applaud the legislature for doing the right thing and raising wages for over 330,000 workers in our state.

"Research shows that workers need $15 an hour or more just to cover the basics, and workers with families need more. By raising the minimum wage, the legislature is providing a life-changing boost for home care, airport, fast food, and other low-wage workers struggling on barely $21,000 a year (and that’s if they are lucky enough to be full-time).

"There’s an awful lot of talk in Connecticut about residents moving out of state. But what is often lost in the conversation is that most of the people who move out are low-income workers who leave for a better paying job. The vote to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour will help keep our wages competitive with other states and help keep more working people here.

"Workers who earn more pay more in income taxes, spend more disposable income in the local economy, and are less reliant on safety net services, saving taxpayer dollars for other investments. Raising wages will boost the Connecticut economy. We urge Governor Lamont to sign this bill into law as soon as possible."

Joseph Franklin, leader in Fight for $15 coalition and McDonald’s worker in Hartford:

"When fast-food workers walked off the job nearly seven years ago demanding $15 and a union, nobody thought we had a chance. Now, Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the seventh state to pass a $15 minimum wage, and the fourth this year. Our movement is gaining momentum.

"A $15 minimum wage will give me the peace of mind to know that I won't be scrambling to make ends meet at the end of every month. I'll be able to afford the bus ticket I need to get to and from work during the day -- without wondering if it means that I won't be able to put food on the table that night.

"By joining together, speaking up, and going on strike, workers like me have turned $15 from a dream to reality for millions of workers across the country. We’ve shown that $15 an hour is the absolute bare minimum working people need to get by today, and we’re going to keep on fighting and striking until we win $15 and union rights all across the country."

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The Connecticut Fight for $15 is a broad coalition of workers, labor unions, faith leaders, community leaders, and others fighting for a $15 minimum wage in the state.