SEIU NJ State Council urges swift passage of $15 minimum wage bill

The Freeholder fight unites more than it delights.

The SEIU NJ State Council, comprised of unions representing more than 23,000 service workers statewide, urges swift passage of the compromise bill that would raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour for most workers by 2024.

The legislature is poised for a Thursday vote on the measure, which would raise wages for an estimated 1 million workers in New Jersey. If passed, the current minimum wage would rise to $10 per hour on July 1 and increase by $1 at the beginning of each year until hitting $15 in 2024. The minimum for agricultural workers would rise to $12.50 at the time. Seasonal workers and employees of businesses with five workers or less would reach the $15 minimum by 2026.

“The increases will be a welcome step forward for workers struggling to raise families and pay bills in one of the most expensive areas in the country,” said Wilfredo Laurancuent, President of the state council and Treasurer of the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United. “We applaud legislative leaders and the governor for working together to make this happen, and hope for more progress on wage fairness going forward.”

Milly Silva, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Heathcare Workers East said the wage hike would be historic.

“This legislation will have a profound impact on the lives of one million New Jersey workers, their families and communities. It will be a boon to our state’s economy and have an especially significant impact on women, people of color, and young workers,” said Silva.  “The Fight for $15 and a Union movement has never been just about raising wages, but about ensuring that every worker has the opportunity to join together in a union for rights, dignity, and respect. Passing this bill will not be an end to this movement. There is still work to be done in New Jersey to ensure $15 without exceptions and to secure the rights of all workers to organize.”

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