ORLANDO, Fla. - On Tuesday morning, Florida Representatives Anna Eskamani, Carlos Smith, and Senate candidate Pat Sigman joined workers at the Orlando International Airport for a rally in support of Amendment 2.
Floridians will vote on Amendment 2 during the general election. It would raise the minimum wage from $8.56 to $15 an hour by 2026. On September 30th, 2021, the minimum wage would be raised to $10 and then will increase by $1 per hour every subsequent year until it reaches $15 per hour on September 30th, 2026. After that, future minimum wage increases will be adjusted annually for inflation.
"More and more Floridians are realizing that they can’t survive off the current minimum wage. Right now, more than 200,000 Floridians are earning just $8.56 an hour, including women and people of color who are over-represented within that group,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani. “Raising the minimum wage will put millions in the pockets of hard-working Floridians, as well as close the wage gap for women, Latino and Black workers.”
“Someone earning the minimum wage in the Orlando area would need to work 96 hours a week in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment. This culture of poverty in Central Florida is costing taxpayers big time,” State Representative Carlos Smith explained. “The Orlando International Airport is one of the largest economic engines in Central Florida. Its failure to produce jobs that pay living wages swells our welfare rolls, while the top 1% continues to live comfortably off the backs of working people.”
“I make $9.00 an hour with barely any tips at the Orlando International Airport. It’s impossible to survive on what I’m earning,” said Miguel Mejias, a wheelchair attendant. “If I was earning a living wage, I’d have a little extra to go out to eat at my neighborhood restaurant, buy a gift for my daughter at a local business, or just pay off my debts. Raising wages are good for workers and the local economy that we support.”
Florida is one of 25 states increasing the minimum wage for 2020.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.