Supporters of livable wage hold day of action across Pa.

Paul Kurtz
May 23, 2019 - 6:08 pm
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage held what they called a day of action in cities and townships across Pennsylvania.

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Supporters of a $15 minimum wage held what they called a day of action in cities and townships across Pennsylvania Thursday.

Philadelphia-area lawmakers went to a Suburban Station barbershop where the owner, Michael O'Conner, pays his staff nearly three times the minimum wage. 

"I know people say that if you do this you could kill small businesses, but we're a very small business. Five people here and four in our other. We have the same expenses and the same overhead and we seem to be doing all right," O'Conner said. 

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He says it's all about retaining the workers he values.

"Guys have a personal relationship with their barbers. So you want to make sure when they come they get their guy," O'Conner explained. 

State Sen. Christine Tartaglione is co-sponsoring a bill that calls for raising the minimum wage to $12 immediately and additional increases leading to a $15 minimum by 2025. 

She believes it's long overdue. 

"The last time we changed the minimum wage was in 2006 in Pennsylvania and then a year later Congress changed it to $7.25 an hour. If you're making $7.25 an hour you're making $15,000 a year. And that is impossible to live on," Tartaglione said. 

The proposal has the support of Gov. Wolf but it remains to be seen whether the state legislature approves it.