Fifth district legislators, union officials support minimum wage hike during Camden rally
By Rebecca Forand

CAMDEN – Union members joined elected officials in front of the Walter Rand Transportation Center Wednesday morning to rally in support of raising the minimum wage in New Jersey and encouraging voters to vote “yes” next week to approve the measure.

A minimum wage hike was approved by the legislature this year, but vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. Now the question goes to voters, as they will be asked on Tuesday if they want the minimum wage to go from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour.

Standing in front of the Camden bus terminal, the city’s Mayor Dana Redd told the small crowd that had gathered in the rain why a raise in the minimum wage would be good for Camden and for New Jersey in general.

“We know the cost of living in New Jersey is very high,” she said. “Camden is struggling from extreme poverty. We can make a difference in the poverty in Camden by voting yes on question number two on November 5.”

Joining her at the rally were Fifth district representatives, Senator Donald Norcross, Assemblyman Angel Fuentes and Assemblyman Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, as well as multiple leaders and members of Amalgamated Transit Union 880.

The last minimum wage increase in New Jersey was 10 years ago, which Norcross described as detrimental to working families as the cost of living goes up and their income stays the same.

“Minimum wage is not at a level that would support even a single person,” he said. “The disparity between those who make the most and those who make the least has grown in the past decade, which is the same amount of time since minimum wage went up.”

According to Union officials at the event, an increase of the minimum wage goes toward stimulating the economy as well as helping the families who are struggling to put food on the table.

“These people making $7.25 an hour, they can’t afford groceries,” said ATU Chairman Ray Greaves. “If people make more, they’ll spend a little more.”
Original article

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