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Union members rally for higher minimum wage

Posted: August 24, 2014 - 12:08am

FAIRBANKS — Advocates for a higher minimum wage rallied in Fairbanks to support Ballot Measure 3 in the November general election.

Union members and politicians who want their support were in the crowd at Myrtle Thomas Park on Thursday, two days after the Alaska primary.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told participants that they did a great job at putting the measure on the ballot and should now work to get it passed, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

“When we raise the minimum wage in Alaska every Alaskan worker is going to benefit,” Trumka said. “When people have money in their pockets, they can spend and when they spend, they create demand and when you create demand you put people to work.”

Measure 3 would raise Alaska’s minimum wage from $7.75 to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2015, and to $9.75 in 2016. Future increases would be based on inflation or be $1 higher than federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.

“Everyone who works hard should be able to support a family,” Trumka said. “This is America, the home of the American dream and this is Alaska, the land of opportunity. Let’s make it an opportunity for every single worker out there so they can come home at the end of the day and support their family.”

During the final days of the legislative session earlier this year, the minimum wage issue flared up. Republicans pushed an effort to raise the minimum wage higher than Measure 3 proposes, but it was fought down by Democrats and labor-friendly Republicans.

Critics called the proposal a political ploy to keep the measure off the ballot and labor-friendly voters away from the polls in November. Such an increase also could have been repealed the next year before it went into effect, without the two-year protection against legislative changes afforded by an initiative.

Measure 3 has no organized opposition to it.

Thursday’s rally was held on the first day of Alaska’s AFL-CIO conference in Fairbanks.

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Brad Fluetsch
Brad Fluetsch 08/24/14 - 07:36 am
I was raised to believe

If you want more money, you need to:

- work harder
- work smarter
- be more productive

Then it was explained to me that be that the minimum wage was the least amount of wages it takes to keep workers from stealing from you.

Haily George
Haily George 08/24/14 - 11:11 am
Brad?? Even the chair of the


Even the chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has “publicly" expressed concern over income inequality. For the chair to speak publicly about this shows just how serious the problem is. She has put her career on the line.

The rules (taxes, regulations, decline in unions...) are rigged to favor the top and the folks doing the rigging (our elected officials) are the crooks, they are the ones stealing from the rest of us - not workers.

"Since the 1970s, the richest 20 percent of Americans have seen income grow much faster than for the bottom 20 percent, and their incomes are now eight times higher than at the bottom. But things have accelerated in the years after the recession. Over the past three years, the top earners saw income grow by 5 percent while everyone else saw it decline".

The public has to demand that we get money out of elections and politics.

In addition, as the rule riggers enrich themselves, they have "in less than 100 years" nearly destroyed our planet earth, which has been billions of years in the making.

Think about it.

Brad Fluetsch
Brad Fluetsch 08/24/14 - 04:53 pm
LOL, really Haily?

Janet is a flaming liberal democrat... Productivity either by education or automation is the key to profits, quality of life... (defined in terms of ability to spend on enjoyment, recreation... not basic needs) Raising minimum wage without productivity is simple wage inflation, a cancer to the free enterprise system.

Karl Ashenbrenner
Karl Ashenbrenner 08/25/14 - 08:42 am
LOL Brad,

productivity has risen over the last 20 years to its highest point ever...but no raise in the minimum wage. How about some catching up? Also a look at the history of minimum wage shows that originally it was the lowest wage that was still a "living wage". The 1% and their attendant "conservative" front has bastardized what minimum wage was originally intended to be. No city, state etc that has raised the minimum wage has had a crash in their "free market" economy, which btw no longer exists anyway...another fallacy.

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