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Minimum wage and equal pay advocates join forces at state Capitol

Jake Neher

Women’s rights advocates say boosting the state’s minimum wage would be a big step toward equal pay in the workplace. Groups backing both causes joined forces Tuesday during an equal pay rally at the state Capitol.

“Women are disproportionately represented in low-wage work. So, when we raise the minimum wage we are raising them a little bit more out of poverty,” said Danielle Atkinson with Raise Michigan, a coalition working to put a minimum wage increase on the November ballot.

Atkinson is also the founder of the women’s advocacy group Mothering Justice.

“All of these issues of economic stability for women are interconnected,” she said. “And if we want to eliminate the pay disparities, raising the minimum wage will help us get a long way to that.”

Raise Michigan’s ballot drive would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

Many Republicans in Lansing say a minimum wage increase would be bad for the economy. They say it should be up to businesses to set wages – not the government.

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