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The Fight For A Living Wage

a picture of protests at a fight for $15 rally
Fight for $15

Democrats in the North Carolina House are fighting to raise the state’s minimum wage, which has been stagnant at $7.25 an hour for more than 10 years. Lawmakers argue that wages have not kept up with the cost of living: full-time minimum wage workers in North Carolina earn $15,600 annually, while the federal poverty level for a family of two is $16,910. North Carolina Rep. Susan C. Fisher (D- Buncombe) is the sponsor of one of two Democrat-led house bills which aim to raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next five years.


Fisher's HB 366 also makes provisions to raise wages for tipped employees who currently earn $2.13, which has been the federal standard since 1991. Fisher joins host Frank Stasio to talk about HB 366 and how it would impact the large number of service industry workers in her district who are paid at or below minimum wage. Senior Political Analyst Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation joins the conversation to share his belief that nearly doubling the minimum wage will force companies to automate and ship jobs elsewhere and will also push some underskilled workers out of the job market completely. Second-generation fast food worker Earl Bradleyalso joins the conversation to share his experience as a minimum wage worker. His mother spent 20 years with the company and retired as a store manager. Bradley has been with Wendy’s for more than seven years.


Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.