Wednesday, July 24, 2013 marked 4 years since the last time the federal minimum wage had increased, to $7.25 The Massachusetts minimum wage still stands at $8, as it has since 2008. To publicize this fact and to call for further increases, groups around the country participated in a national day of action to raise the minimum wage. In Massachusetts, Raise Up Massachusetts took the lead in organizing actions around the state.
UAW 2322 members joined Raise Up Massachusetts and Western MA Jobs with Justice outside the Hadley Wal-Mart on July 24 to call for an increase in the minimum wage to $11/hour and the creation of earned sick time for all workers in Massachusetts. These proposals have been on the legislative agenda in Massachusetts for the past several years, and have been a lobbying priority for the UAW, but have failed to pass. Raise Up Massachusetts has announced that it will work to pass the measures through a ballot initiative if the state house does not pass them by the August 7 deadline for new ballot initiatives. The ballot initiative would require 200,000 signatures to get it onto the November 2014 Massachusetts ballot.