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As Congress prepares to receive President Obama for his State of the Union address next week, leading worker advocacy groups today called for new legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $12.50 per hour by 2020, provide automatic annual increases to keep pace with rising overall wages, and phase-out the subminimum wage for tipped workers. The proposal is getting an immediate boost by the release of a new poll showing 75% of Americans – including 53% of Republicans – support raising the national minimum wage to $12.50 by 2020. The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the National Employment Law Project, also showed 71% support increasing the tipped minimum wage so that all workers would be guaranteed the same wage floor, and 82% support for automatic annual adjustments to the minimum wage. In addition, the poll showed 63% support for an even greater increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020.

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20 States to Increase Minimum Wage on New Year’s Day

3.1 million low-paid workers will receive a pay raise when 20 states ring in the New Year with increases in their minimum wage rates. A majority of states will now have minimum wages that are higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

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Fast Food Strikes Spread to More Cities as Fight for $15 is Joined by Workers in Other Industries

One-day strikes led by fast food workers spread to more than 190 cities in the U.S. yesterday, and the protests were joined in many places by workers in other industries – all calling for a $15 wage floor and union rights. In the two years since fast food workers first launched the Fight for $15 the protests against poverty-level wages have expanded into mass actions across the country, now including home health care workers, airport and baggage handlers, retail, convenience and dollar store workers. Tsedeye Gebreselassie, staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rundown along with McDonald’s worker Brittney Berry talking about the latest protests.

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Push is On in More Cities to Raise Local Minimum Wages

On the heels of significant local ballot victories which raised the minimum wage in San Francisco and Oakland, California, more cities across the U.S. are taking up measures to boost local minimum wages.

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Victory! Voters Raise the Minimum Wage in Four States and Two Major Cities

Ballot measures to raise the minimum wage in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, San Francisco and Oakland, California, swept to victory on Election Day 2014 yesterday by substantial margins. An estimated 609,000 low-wage workers will see their hourly pay rise next year as a result.

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On Election Day, Big Winner Could Be Minimum Wage Hikes

Ballot measures to raise state or local minimum wage rates could be big winners on Election Day, November 4. In Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota voters will cast ballots on binding statewide initiatives to raise their state minimum wages. Illinois voters will weigh in on a ballot question asking whether the legislature should raise that state’s minimum wage. Voters in San Francisco and Oakland, California, will cast ballots on raising citywide minimum wages – to $15 by 2018 and to $12.25 by 2015 respectively. And Wisconsin voters in nine counties and four cities will decide non-binding ballot initiatives to raise the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Despite polls showing overwhelming support nationally for raising the federal minimum wage from its current poverty-level $7.25 per hour to at least $10.10, efforts to do so this year were blocked in Congress. That’s one reason that grassroots efforts to raise minimum wages have caught on through ballot initiatives at the state and local levels.

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NJ Governor Christie: “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly annoyed that the movement to raise the minimum wage is gaining ground across the country. In a speech this week to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce group in Washington, Christie said bluntly: “I gotta tell you the truth: I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am.”

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