State Sen. Andres Ayala and other legislators met with business and labor leaders to announce campaign to raise the minimum wage.
State Sen. Andres Ayala spoke Jan. 31 as a leader in the push to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage. Ayala joined with state Sen. Cathy Osten and allies from business, labor and community organizations to launch the Alliance to Make Work Pay. The alliance will work to pass an increase in the minimum wage and fight to ensure it is tied to the cost of living.
“Living in Fairfield County can be very expensive for a lot of my constituents,” Ayala said. “Many of them work two to three jobs and still struggle to get by. This bill speaks to the needs of those constituents, and as their representative I feel it is my responsibility to support it.”
The Alliance to Make Work Pay met just before the Labor and Public Employees Committee held a public hearing on increasing the minimum wage. The public hearing lasted five hours, and featured many prominent business owners expressing their support for an increase to the minimum wage.
“There is no way that a person can live in anything other than poverty making $8.25 per hour,” said Douglas Wade, president of Wade’s Dairy in Bridgeport. “For too many men and women in this state, the American dream has become an illusion. I do my best to pay my employees good wages that are in tandem with their efforts. We have 47 employees that make my company viable and we have almost no turnover because we pay fair, livable wages.”
The proposal currently before the Labor and Public Employees Committee will raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 an hour on July 1, 2013, and to $9.75 on July 1, 2014. The legislation also creates automatic raises to the minimum wage tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index.