Maine AFL-CIO statement on minimum wage increase

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 7:45pm
The Maine AFL-CIO applauds the announcement that Maine’s minimum wage will increase from $12.15 to $12.75 per hour, based on data recently made available by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, effective January 1, 2022, according to a Sept. 23 news release from the organization.
“No one who works full time should live in poverty,” said Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the Maine AFL-CIO, in the release.   “For too long the cost of groceries, rent, heating oil and other basic necessities have gone up while wages have remained stagnant. This cost of living increase means that workers will have a little more dignity and a little more money in their pockets to support their families and spend in the local economy. The law is working to set a floor for wages and to drive wages up across our economy.”
Thanks to 2016 law passed by Maine voters, and supported by the Maine AFL-CIO and others, Maine law requires annual adjustments to the minimum wage based on the cost of living index (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region.
“All workers deserve fair wages for a fair day’s work,” Schlobohm said. “We are in a moment when workers are taking action to raise wages and improve their jobs through unionization, minimum wage increases and collective action. It is long past time that we build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. We have a long way to go, but raising Maine’s minimum wage – and having it keep up with the cost of living – is an important step.”
The Maine AFL-CIO, a coalition of 160 Maine unions, co-chaired the 2016 Mainers for Fair Wages ballot campaign that passed this law by citizen initiative.