Obama raises the minimum wage for federal workers after recent protests
Dana Gethers | 1/29/2014, 7:34 p.m.
In the wake of national fast-food workers protests for $15/hour pay, the president has proposed a compromise in the form of the Harkin-Miller Bill. In an official statement released Tuesday, the White House revealed that the President will be using his executive authority to raise the Federal minimum wage to $10.10, up from the current $7.25. He also plans to later index the wage to inflation, ensuring that low-income workers will be able to keep up with the economic cost of living in the future.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), comes after several requests from their constituents. Fast-food workers have staged several protests in recent months asking for a $15 hourly wage as well as the right to form a union without the fear of retaliation. We have previously reported on several, including the national strike held on Aug. 29th of last year which set off a string of similar ones in cities like New York and Chicago.
Some of the fast-food giants targeted were McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Dominos, and KFC. Many workers walked out of their jobs in major cities to protest their low wages, and the Harkin-Miller bill passed by Executive Order now addresses similar concerns.
President Obama has raised the minimum wage by $2.85, still $4.90 less than what fast-food workers asked for. However, the bill will not actually raise the wages of the employees of independent companies like these fast food giants. The bill is said to be primarily beneficial to janitors, construction workers and other federal workers. In his State of the Union address on Jan. 29th, Obama encouraged private businessowners, which would include the CEO's of fast-food establishments, to raise their employees wages to increase productivity and morale.