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32BJ Rallies for $15 Minimum Wage in Delaware

January 20, 2020

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DOVER, Del.—The 32BJ SEIU property-service workers union, which won a contract last month that will raise members’ wages in the Philadelphia-Delaware area to $15.35 an hour in 2021, rallied on the steps of the Delaware Capitol Jan. 14 to urge legislators to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15. “We won’t stop until all workers across Delaware are earning $15 an hour,” 32BJ Mid-Atlantic District director Daisy Cruz told the Dover Post.  “We have seen workers in New Jersey and Maryland see their wages increase. Residents in Delaware deserve the same.” Families “can’t survive” on the state’s current minimum if $9.25, she added. “I know what it’s like to earn less than $15 an hour,” said Wilmington office cleaner Tracey Thuo. “It’s hard to try and make ends meet.” Delaware cleaners, 32BJ said, were making the federal minimum of $7.25 in 2011, before they joined the union. Courtney Sunborn, owner of Ecolistic Cleaning in Lewes, said she pays her employees well above the current minimum because she wants them “feeling valued and getting paid fairly.” But state Chamber of Commerce president Michael J. Quaranta said that a $15 minimum would mean low-skill workers would “go from underemployed to unemployable.” Read more

January 20, 2020

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