RALEIGH: Union, NAACP hold Labor Day rallies across NC - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Union, NAACP hold Labor Day rallies across NC

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Union and civil rights leaders joined together for a series of rallies and news conferences across North Carolina on Labor Day.

The #TalkUnion tour kicked off Monday morning in Raleigh, and continued to Greensboro and Charlotte.

Ministers, minimum wage employees, union reps and the NAACP met in Nash Square in Raleigh Monday, saying they want to see the minimum wage boosted for workers in North Carolina.

The Obama administration proposed increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but that effort has stalled.

Meanwhile, those who are making less than $10 an hour say they just can't pay their bills in today's economy.

Devan Durham, a fast food worker, said “$7.25 is not doing nothing but paying the cell phone bill if you're working two days a week.” Durham said a good, livable minimum wage for him would be $15 an hour.

Opponents of increasing the minimum wage argue that raising the rate to $10 an hour or more could result in lost jobs as employers cut staff or automate and outsource to avoid paying higher wages.

Unions claim paying a higher minimum wage could benefit the whole economy in the long run.

“If we did that, demand for public assistance would decrease, consumer spending would increase and our economy would work for everyone,” said Marybe McMillian of the AFL-CIO.

Some local governments have taken matters into their own hands.

Several states like Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont require employers to pay $10 an hour or more.

Supporters of a higher wage in North Carolina don't expect the state to do that, so they're counting on the federal government to increase minimum wage.

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