Squadron Statement on Fast Food Workers and Clergy Pray-in for Better Wages

Daniel L. Squadron

May 20, 2014

ALBANY—Today, at the McDonald's restaurant in the Empire State Plaza, religious leaders and fast food workers held a pray-in to encourage legislators to increase New York State's minimum wage. Today’s action came as the push intensifies for a meaningful minimum wage that can provide families with increased economic security. Senator Daniel Squadron, sponsor of the Fair Wage Act (S.6455/A.9386), which would require large employers and chain stores to pay employees $15 an hour, released the following statement:

“I'm proud to support these workers and faith leaders in calling attention to the need for a living wage for New York. The biggest, most profitable companies often have lower costs and the ability to pay workers more. Yet, many of these companies pay their workers as little as legally possible. Allowing large companies like McDonald’s to pay $8 an hour doesn't just drive individuals toward welfare, it’s an ugly form of corporate welfare. This violates the core American value that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you should be able to provide for your family and have a decent life.

“It’s time for New York to be a national leader in the fight for fair wages, as cities around the nation, including Seattle, San Francisco, and Santa Fe, raise their minimums well beyond $8. In New York City, $15 would  allow a family of four to live above the poverty level—that’s a meaningful wage. And indexing wages to inflation means that workers’ real wages don’t decline as their housing and other costs of living go up. I urge passage of the Fair Wage Act and other wage reforms this year.”