As the end of the Legislature’s session nears, supporters of legislation to raise New York’s minimum wage are taking their campaign into selected Senate districts.
Dozens of labor and community activists are planning to hold protests Friday morning outside the district offices of Brooklyn Sen. Martin Golden and Long Island Sen. Jack Martins, both Republicans. The protests are a prelude to larger rally planned for Albany Tuesday that organizers expect will draw at least 1,000 people.
“There’s a tidal wave of support for raising wages for workers and their families,” said the Working Families Party’s Austin Shafran. “Anyone who stands in the way of a minimum wage increase is doing so at their own peril.”
The Working Families Party is key member of the Raise Up New York Coalition, which is pushing for an increase in the minimum wage beyond the $9 mark it is already scheduled to hit by the end of 2015. They also want to give localities such as New York City the ability to set their own minimum wage.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday showed 50% of New York City voters support a minimum wage of as high as $13 per hour, while 35% said the rate should be set at $10.10. Thirty four percent of Republicans favored a $13 minimum wage and 35% wanted it hiked to $10.10.
Gov. Cuomo, as part of his effort to win the Working Families Party nomination, expressed support for a $10.10 minimum wage and giving local governments the ability to raise it by an additional 30%.
Senate Republicans, however, appear unlikely to take up any measure increasing the minimum wage before the end of the session next week
“I don’t see a lot of interest in our conference on minimum wage,” said Deputy Senate GOP leader Tom Libous.
Golden, meanwhile, shrugged off the prospects of a protest outside his office. When asked if was concerned about it, Golden said: “not at all.”