Press Release from the Democratic Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, March 25, 2014:
Republican majority leads to Tennessee ranking #1 in minimum wage workers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new study released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Tennessee has the highest share of minimum wage employees in the nation. According to the study, reported on by WPLN’s Blake Farmer, 7.4 percent of Tennessee’s hourly make at or below the minimum wage.
“We should be a land of opportunity that rewards hard work with a fair wage,” said Chairman Turner. “Unfortunately the Republican majority is more concerned with increasing the bottom line for wealthy corporations instead of rewarding the people who work hard every day to increase their company’s profits. Workers should be able to pay their bills without having to rely on welfare.”
In February, the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee voted against a bill by House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner, HB1694, which would have instituted a Tennessee minimum wage higher than the national rate of $7.25. Chairman Jimmy Eldridge, Chairman Glen Casada, and Rep. Mark Pody were the members of the committee voting against the increase.
“Republicans refuse to vote for legislation that would increase wages, ensure equal pay for equal work, or give Tennesseans the first crack at jobs in this state,” said Chairman Turner. “The best way to grow our economy so everyone prospers is to help regular people in our state who will spend money on goods and services in their community. When workers thrive, it is a win-win for the rich and poor alike.”