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Rally calls for minimum-wage increase

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin House Democrat Gwen Moore held a rally in Milwaukee yesterday to round up support for a higher minimum wage. She was joined by fellow House Democrats Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Danny Davis of Illinois as part of a national campaign called “Raise Up.”

Ellison said President Obama took a good first step by proposing a hike in the federal minimum wage from $7.25-an-hour to $9 – but Ellison said it’s not enough, and he supports a bill to raise the minimum to $10.10-per-hour.

The National Restaurant Association says that with an average 4-percent profit margin, a higher minimum wage would hurt the ability of restaurants to maintain jobs. Moore, however, says it’s not the “mom-and-pop diners” that hire low-wage workers. She says many are Fortune-500 companies, 92-percent of which made profits last year. 

Some low-wage workers also spoke at the Milwaukee rally. They gave examples of so-called “wage theft” – companies that don’t pay employees during slow periods, or pay in the form of debit cards in which the workers must pay fees for each transaction.