On January 14, over 100 low-wage workers, supportive small business owners, and volunteers with Mainers for Fair Wages will hold a rally and media event in support of the referendum to raise Maine’s minimum wage and deliver more than 80,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office, more than enough to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
"I work at a convenience store for just over the state minimum wage and I struggle to support myself and my family. When you're this close to the edge, one emergency can ruin everything. It wasn't too long ago that we were forced to live in a homeless shelter, while I was working full time but unable to keep up with the bills," said Katie Logue of Auburn, a campaign volunteer.
In June of 2015, Mainers for Fair Wages, a coalition including the Maine People's Alliance, Maine Small Business Coalition, and Maine AFL-CIO, launched the citizen initiative to raise Maine's minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2017 and then by $1 a year until it reaches $12 by 2020. After that it would increase at the same rate as the cost of living. The initiative would also incrementally raise the sub-minimum tipped wage until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers by 2024.
"It just isn't right that there are people like me all over the state who are working hard every day but can't get ahead. That's why I helped to collect hundreds of signatures to get this measure on the ballot, boost our state economy and help tens of thousands of struggling Mainers." said Logue.