COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - On January 1, 2013, workers covered under Ohio's minimum wage law will see a 15 cent increase in their hourly wage taking them to $7.85 an hour.
In 2006, on behalf of Ohio's lowest wage earners, the Ohio AFL-CIO and the coalition Ohioans for a Fair Minimum Wage successfully placed the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which tied Ohio's minimum wage rate to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI increased over 1.7% from September 1, 2011 to September 31, 2012.
"In 2006, after over a decade without a minimum wage increase, Ohioans overwhelmingly passed the amendment- taking rate increases out of the hands of politicians," said Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO.
Originally passed as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the purpose of the minimum wage was to prevent market forces from driving down the wages of the lowest earners in the labor force. Research shows that an increase in the minimum wage also spurs employers to increase wages for other low-wage workers.
"These rate increases keep the minimum wage in pace with inflation, and that wasn't always the case when the decision was left to politicians," Burga said. "Those who are only making the minimum wage are essentially just surviving.
After buying gas and groceries, too many Ohioans are broke until the next paycheck," said Burga. "This increase will slow down the race to the bottom and help lift up those Ohioans struggling to make ends meet. These modest increases can also generate revenue for our local economies- something we are in desperate need of here in Ohio."