July 22, 2015

Speaker Heastie Statement on the Wage Board Recommendation to Raise the Wage of Fast Food Workers

Today, in recommending a raise in the minimum wage for workers in the fast food industry, the Wage Board has taken the first of many steps that are needed to address the struggles facing New York's working poor. There is no question that these men and women go to work each day and struggle to support themselves and their families with hours that are often inconsistent and wages that are far from sufficient. As longstanding supporters of a stronger minimum wage, on behalf of the Assembly Majority Conference I commend the Board for their hard work and for the open and inclusive process that allowed hundreds of advocates and affected stakeholders to have their voices heard.

Despite today's victory for workers in the fast food industry, there are hundreds of thousands who will be left behind and that is not acceptable. The Assembly Majority has always stood firm in our belief that in order to ensure the sustainability of our state and promote the well-being of New York's families, we must achieve a fair and adequate minimum wage. Over one million men and women in this state work in low-wage sectors and we do not believe that anyone who works full time should be poor, or forced to rely on government subsidies to afford food, shelter or any other basic necessities. Earlier this year, as part of our commitment to put the needs of families first, we passed a comprehensive minimum wage proposal that would lift the wage floor across all low-wage industries. Though the State Senate did not pass this bill in the 2015 session, it remains one of our top priorities. We will continue to lead the charge for a stronger minimum wage that will bring real opportunity for economic independence to all our workers.