PHOENIX — A top U.S. labor official visited Phoenix Friday for talks on increasing the minimum wage.
Wage and Hour Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman heard life stories from several minimum wage workers.
One of them is 20-year-old Hector Florez, of Phoenix. He still lives at home, but his parents are unemployed. His dad made $18 an hour as a construction worker until five years ago. He was fired after his employer did a check through the E-Verify system and found that he had a false Social Security card.
The family of seven lives on the money Florez earns from his $8.50-an-hour job at a Family Dollar store.
“I have to pay utilities and food,” Florez said. “Not having another job inside the house means that everything is on me.”
President Barack Obama said during his State of the Union speech that the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 an hour, and Fortman agrees.
“Definitely!” she said. “Currently, if you’re working full time, you’re below the poverty level. It’s just not OK to be working full time, working hard and living in poverty in the United States.”
Fortman said she’s confident that raising the minimum wage would help the workers, even if stores and restaurants increase their prices to offset increased labor costs, which means the workers might have to pay more for basic necessities.
“People are able to get more security by having a little bit more income,” she said.
Fortman’s visit to Phoenix is part of a tour that also included stops in Las Vegas and Portland, Maine, within the past couple of weeks.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon