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Unions call on state lawmakers to raise SC’s minimum wage

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Thursday morning the total...
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Thursday morning the total number of people who filed initial unemployment claims dropped again last week for the third week in a row.(AP)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations says the state must take action on raising the minimum wage.

South Carolina AFL-CIO President Charles Brave called on the South Carolina General Assembly to establish a living wage benchmark in the state, Monday. Brave says his remarks come in the wake of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s decision to eliminate the federal unemployment subsidy in South Carolina in June.

“McMaster’s decision to terminate the federal unemployment subsidy once again proves he values the business community in South Carolina more than he does communities of people. If an extra $300 a week in unemployment is more fruitful to you than returning to work, what does that say about the wages we pay working people in general across this state?” Brave said.

South Carolina AFL-CIO Field Director Jennifer Tague says several bills have been filed in the South Carolina General Assembly in recent years which would establish and set a minimum wage in the state, but none have made it out of the sub-committee level. She says State Senators John Scott and Kevin Johnson recently called for their colleagues to raise wages for people across the state.

“The SC AFL-CIO fully supports the comments by Senator Scott and Senator Johnson. It is time the General Assembly take action. Where can you live in Charleston, Columbia, or Greenville on $7.25 an hour? Better yet, where can you live on $9.00 or $10.00 an hour? You can’t. It’s just that simple,” said Brave.

The South Carolina AFL-CIO says they are one of nearly 500 state and local labor councils of the AFL-CIO and they are the heart of the labor movement.

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