“More money in our paychecks could not come at a better time,” says Cathy Sherwin of St. Louis who has been a student and working part-time in fast food and at a dollar store since 2019. “This year, my co-workers and I have all been called ‘essential workers’ but still are only paid the minimum wage. I helped gather signatures and talk to voters to help pass Prop B in 2018. I had no idea then just how desperately Missourians would need this raise.”
Cathy is one of the more than 282,000 Missourians who will directly get a raise beginning on January 1, 2021, when Missouri’s minimum raise goes from $9.45 to $10.30/hour. The power of Missouri workers and voters led to Proposition B overwhelmingly passing in 2018, and now more than 250,000 additional Missourians are expected to get a raise indirectly.
“Voters from across Missouri overwhelmingly supported Prop B in 2018 because we know no one who works hard should struggle to make ends meet. That has not changed” said Wilson Vance, a leader with Missouri Jobs with Justice and organizer with KC Tenants.
“There’s no good faith argument that raising the minimum wage is not good for all of us,” said Richard von Glahn, Policy Director for Missouri Jobs with Justice. “That’s why Proposition B was endorsed by workers, faith leaders, elected officials, and business owners. And it’s why we saw Florida voters overwhelmingly approve a $15-an-hour minimum wage just last month.”
Local business owners agree.
“What I need is a public health response from our government to make my customers and employees feel safe and an economy where people have the income they need,” said Andy Faucett, owner of Springfield-based Bambino’s restaurant. “Raising wages is part of the solution of getting business back on our feet.”
“Workers are also customers and we all need to be able to take care of our families. Raising the wage is good for our people, good for businesses, good for our community,” said Leigh Lockhart of Columbia-based Main Squeeze. “We supported raising the minimum wage back in 2018 and can see more clearly than ever that Missourians need a raise.”
With the increase to $10.30 an hour, an estimated 63,000 frontline workers in the healthcare field will see a much-needed raise. As these heroes continue to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, a boost in their wages helps them meet their families’ needs.
“As the holidays are upon us and some corporations finally take steps to truly respect their workers, we must remember that an increasing minimum wage – a fair return on our work – has always been a demand of workers,” said Caitlyn Adams, Executive Director for Missouri Jobs with Justice. “Especially as corporations call essential workers heroes, these much-earned and needed wage increases are the result of workers organizing – not a generous gift or idea from a CEO.”
Further Background: In 2018, increasing Missouri’s minimum wage was estimated to impact 677,000 Missourians — or 1 in 4 workers — prior to our current economic recession. In November 2018, voters from every corner of our state resoundingly voted Yes on Proposition B to gradually increase Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour by 2023. With 62.34% of the vote and carrying 82 of Missouri’s 114 counties, 31 of 34 State Senate districts, and 145 of 163 State House districts, Proposition B and raising Missouri’s minimum wage was a clear signal and mandate from voters across our state.
Missouri Jobs with Justice is a statewide grassroots coalition building transformative power for social, racial, and economic justice. Our individual and organizational members come together to hold decision-makers accountable and to build a Missouri where opportunity exists for all regardless of race, identity, income, or immigration status. Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action supporters strongly supported the work to increase Missouri’s minimum wage through Proposition B in 2018. Follow our work at https://www.facebook.com/MissouriJobsWithJustice/ or www.mojwj.org