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Union Applauds Mayor’s Support for a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Friday, January 30, 2015

 

Porn Yothsombath, janitor at Portland Building and Portland City Hall.

SEIU Local 49 praises Portland Mayor Charlie Hales proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for full-time and subcontracted city workers. 

Hales announced at Friday's State of the City address that he would make sure that city workers, whether they were full-time or subcontractors, were paid at least $15 an hour.

“I am pleased to hear that our Mayor is leading on the need to move the City of Portland’s lowest paid contracted workers to a $15 an hour minimum wage,” says SEIU Local 49 President Meg Niemi. “This decision will clearly benefit those in most need – the low-wage workers – and strengthen our overall economy.”

The union remarked that one of their member Kadra Ahmed, a janitor at the Portland Building, only makes $13.50 an hour.  Ahmed spent 15 years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States, Niemi stated.

“Kadra waited 8 years to get into section eight housing and would use a raise to fund school programs for her kids to make sure they can play sports and be a part of after school activities,” Niemi stated in a media release.  

Hales did not say how many workers would be impacted by the move.

“The Mayor and City Council have proven that when in it counts, they will step up for the working class in our community,” says President Niemi. “They have stood by the workers of our union time and time again – from passing mandatory sick days, to standing with security officers as they organized their union to improve standards in their industry.”

 

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