McCaskill Pledge: No Pay Raise Until Minimum Wage Is Raised
Standing with the St. Louis Laborer's Union at the Laborer's District Hall in St. Louis, U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill accepted their endorsement of her candidacy and pledged not to take a Congressional pay raise as U.S. Senator until the national minimum wage is increased. The Laborer's cited McCaskill's commitment to fighting for fair wages, decent family benefits, and Project Labor Agreements as several of the main reasons for their support.
"If Missouri workers want a strong voice in Washington, we need to elect Claire McCaskill," said Ernie Brown of the Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council. "For too long our working families have taken a back seat to the big corporate interests. It's time for us to have a Senator like Claire McCaskill fighting on our side."
The national minimum wage has not been raised since 1997, forcing thousands of Missourians to work 2 or 3 jobs just to get by. Rather than supporting a raise for Missouri workers, Senator Jim Talent has voted 11 times against increasing the minimum wage, despite taking a pay raise of $31,600 since he's been in Washington. Now he is silent on a state ballot initiative that would raise Missouri's minimum wage from $5.15/hour to $6.50/hour.
Unlike Talent, McCaskill has been outspoken in her support of the minimum wage ballot initiative. As Missouri's Senator, McCaskill will fight for an increase in the minimum wage and refuse to take a pay raise until the national minimum wage is increased.
"We should be ashamed of our national minimum wage," McCaskill said. "That's why as Missouri's Senator I will not take a pay raise until we give one to our workers."
McCaskill also vowed to protect the right of unions to enter into Project Labor Agreements (PLA's) for state and federal projects, emphasizing that PLA's are the best option for our unions and that they promote a better work product by using highly-skilled labor. Unlike McCaskill, Jim Talent has worked to dismantle PLA's. In 1999, Talent led a hearing to overturn President Clinton's 1997 Executive Order to use PLA's on all federal construction projects.