Bellows Continues Push for Increase in Minimum Wage
Shenna Bellows, Maine’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, continues to push for an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Americans United, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC, is going around the country on a bus tour to support raising the minimum wage to $10.10, and today, the tour made stops in both Bangor and Portland. Members from the Bellows For Senate Campaign were on hand to attend the Portland event.
“Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would provide an immediate boost to local economies and directly help thousands of Mainers feed their families and heat their homes in these difficult times,” said Bellows. “There is a significant gap between our rich and poor in this country because workers’ wages have not kept pace with rising corporate profits and CEO compensation. Hardworking Mainers deserve a raise – especially those working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.”
Previously, the Bellows campaign held a press conference and successful petition drop at Republican Senator Susan Collins’ Augusta office advocating for a raise to the minimum Federal hourly wage. After less than a week of gathering petition signatures, nearly 1,500 Mainers signed on to support raising the minimum wage.
Bellows pointed out that most Maine businesses including small businesses are paying far more than the minimum wage to their employees. According to the Maine Department of Labor the average wage across all occupations is $19.64. Across the country, 66% of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses but rather by large corporations of 100 employees or more according to the National Employment Law Project.