Workers, advocates push lawmakers to increase minimum wage to $15 in North Carolina

(Photo: WTVD)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — A coalition of labor groups, advocates and business and faith leaders will call for a $15 minimum wage at a public hearing Thursday in downtown Raleigh.

Packed inside the auxiliary room at First Baptist Church in downtown Raleigh they chanted, “Put 15 on our check, we want we said!” This was a congregation of minimum wage workers from across the Triangle — Not praying but demanding state leaders boost salaries of its lowest-paid private-sector jobs.

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“I am right now in need of a kidney transplant that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Wanda Coker, a worker at a Triangle Burger King, said at the podium.

A coalition of progressive advocacy groups called Raising Wages NC organized the event they called a People’s Hearing. Worker after worker rose to testify about their personal struggles to make ends meet before a panel of elected officials and candidates.

They were just some of North Carolina’s 38,000 minimum wage workers currently making $7.25 an hour. The state’s minimum wage has been stuck at the federal level since 2009. That means someone working full-time earns $15,080 a year — $1000 less than the federal poverty level.

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