Brockton: Local Groups Collecting Signatures to Raise Minimum Wage

A local coalition is collecting signatures for two ballot questions that would increase wages and benefits for those in the state.

Dan Gilbarg of the Coalition for Social Justice is the regional coordinator for Raise Up Massachusetts.

“If people are willing to work, they should be able to make a living that — at least at a modest level – supports themselves and their family,” said Gilbarg.

At a kick-off event in Brockton, Gilbarg said they are hoping to gain enough signatures to have paid sick leave for all workers and have a minimum wage of $15 appear as ballot questions in the November 2018 election.

“What stands out to me is just how many people are affected and how many people feel deeply about these issues, and would like to see something happen,” said Gilbarg. “Because it gets at their ability to take care of their families.”

Jamal McIntyre, a single father working in Boston, was among those who spoke for better benefits.

“Yes we’re here as workers, but you also have to take consideration of our side life outside of work too – responsibilities and kids. We’re just trying to make a change.” said McIntyre.

He said although Massachusetts and surrounding states have higher wages than around the country, it’s not enough.

“At the end of the day, the cost of living is sky-high, and it’s not the same as it used to be,” said McIntyre.

Those working in construction and former teachers were among those who spoke about raising the minimum wage.

In some instances, workers were cut, but the workload increased.

“That’s not right. You ask people to do more labor, but you’re not paying them for what they’re worth or what they’re breaking their backs for,” said Paris Wilson, a fast food worker. “If you cut people — if you’re going to give people more responsibilities — you need to give them more money.”

Gilbarg said there’s been a strong reception so far.

“We got 2,000 signatures our first few days,” he said. “The majority of people we’ve talked to are very responsive, very interested, and glad to sign.”

For more information on Raise Up Massachusetts, visit RaiseUpMA.org.


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About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny left the City of Boston and now lives in Rockland. Lenny has covered both news and sports, from the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com