Berks

Minimum wage rally draws a crowd in Cumru Twp.

Protestors call for hike in minimum wage

CUMRU TWP., Pa. - Protesters brought signs, instruments and their voices to Cumru Township to take a stand for a change to the state's minimum wage.

"It is really hard to make ends meet with this minimum wage," said Deeana Colon, a mother and protester.

Deeana Colon is a single mother of a two-year-old girl. She gets paid $7.50 an hour, which is 25 cents more than Pennsylvania's minimum wage. But she said it is not cutting it.

"It is not enough to pay our rent, our food, let alone the necessitities my daughter needs like pampers, milk," said Colon.

That is why she is standing loud and proud with dozens of others in front of state Representative Mark Gillen's office calling for change.

"I think it is about time that everybody in our country gets a living wage. Let us face it, even $10.10 is not exactly a living wage. But, it is a darn sight better than $7.25," said Tom Plasket, a protestor.

It has been eight years since the state's minimum wage went from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. Two years later in 2009, it increased by 10 cents to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25. It has not changed since.

"We find that it is kind of ludicrious that Pennsylvania has not raised the minimum wage in a while," said Daniel Egusquiza, the organizer for Make the Road Pennsylvania.

The group known as "Make the Road Pennsylvania" protested as part of a day of action targeting state-level lawmakers. Gillen's office was one of 10 offices targeted during the statewide protest.

We reached out to Representative Gillen, a Republican, who explained he was not aware of the scheduled protests and did not known enough about it to respond.

Some Republican lawmakers support raising the minimum wage, while others contend that would hurt business and cause job losses.

But people like Deeana Colon just hope Gillen and other lawmakers throughout the state receive their message loud and clear that it is time to make a change.

"This would help those like me and thousands of others trying to give a better future for their families," said Colon.
 


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