Fighting to end corporate attempts to undercut minimum wage increases.

Washington D.C. – The Fairness Project launched its #SaveTheWage campaign today to stop corporate attempts to undercut minimum wage increases in three states, even though voters approved them by wide margins in the November 2016 election.

The wage increases in Arizona, Maine, and Washington state cover nearly 1.7 million workers. They are now under attack by the Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, and other corporate interests trying to reverse the clear decision made by millions of voters.

The campaign launched with a new website and video and plans to raise money to support workers and organizations in each of the states who are opposing the efforts to overturn the wages. These efforts are focused on forcing a national conversation on the economic fairness that the overwhelming majority of voters prefer.

“Having lost with voters, it’s shameful that these corporate interests are now trying to maneuver in courts and state legislatures to overturn the overwhelming votes to raise wages in their states,” said Jonathan Schleifer, Executive Director of The Fairness Project. “It’s an insult to hard-working people who can barely get by on impossibly low minimum wages, and it’s an assault on the democratic principles on which our country was founded.”

In Arizona, a raise in the minimum wage to $12 an hour plus guaranteed paid sick time won by 17.8 percentage points. In Washington state, a raise to $13.50 and guaranteed sick time won by 18 points. And in Maine, a measure to enact a $12 minimum wage and eliminate a sub-minimum wage for tipped workers won by 11 points.

Funds raised through #SaveTheWage will be used to increase local awareness of these tactics in order to stop the attacks, subsidize legal costs associated with the lawsuits in Arizona, and support grassroots activities to protect the democratic will of the voters.

Below is a closer look at what is currently happening in Arizona, Maine and Washington state:

ARIZONA:
In Arizona, the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brother-funded Goldwater Institute, and others filed lawsuits to repeal Proposition 206, which increased the minimum wage and provided guaranteed paid sick leave. The lawsuit will be heard at the Arizona Supreme Court this Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Additionally, Arizona’s Republican-run legislature is moving five bills that would allow legislators to repeal or change the recent ballot victories and tamper with any future ballot wins.

MAINE:
In Maine, lobbyists for the National Restaurant Association are using their influence to convince Maine legislators, including some Democrats, to repeal wage increases for tipped workers.

WASHINGTON:
In Washington state, corporate interests have filed a lawsuit to kill the increase brought about by Initiative No. 1433.

For more on #SaveTheWage, visit: www.savethewage.org

In 2016, The Fairness Project and its partners used ballot initiatives to enact minimum wage laws across the country, providing over 7.7 million workers with life-changing wage increases. For more about the organization’s work, read the organization’s post-election report, “Ballot Box Breakthroughs.”

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The Fairness Project is a national organization dedicated to bolstering ballot initiative campaigns and driving a national narrative to elevate issues of economic fairness. In 2016, The Fairness Project was engaged in nearly every significant campaign to raise the minimum wage – Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Washington and Washington D.C.  Working with partner organizations, these efforts resulted in improved pay for eight million workers and paid sick leave for two million.

www.TheFairnessProject.org