On the 26th of March, women and children organized by OurDC marched from Union Station to the US Capitol with men marching behind them. They were demanding the Federal minimum wage be increased to $10.10 an hour, and a local minimum wage of $12.50 an hour in DC.
In front of the Capitol several speakers said they have had to go to bed hungry so their children would have food to eat as each paycheck runs out at 2 week intervals. Another pointed out that corporations have paid higher wages before. The minimum wage paid when such laws were first enacted was equivalent to about $15 an hour today. Instead it is CEO and maangement pay that has gone up.
DC is getting a minumum wage hike, but only to $11.50 an hour over several years. This was passed in response to downward pressure on wages expected from Wal-Mart’s entry into DC retail.
There is a common myth that minumum wage workers are teenagers, but one of the speakers cited an average age for minimum wage employees in fast food in the 30’s.