Workers Win

Thanks to thousands of people who marched and went to rallies, the minimum wage for all workers in California and the vast majority of workers in New York state will be $15 an hour. A march and rally in Boston on April 14 has the same goal for Massachusetts.

The Boston event starts at 3:30 p.m. at the statehouse, which is at 24 Beacon Street. Details are at www.WageAction.org. Free bus or carpool rides from the Valley are available. Contact WageAction@wmjwj.org or call Jon Weissman at the Jobs With Justice office at (413) 314-3095 or on his cell phone: (413) 250-5267.

Photos of thousands of people at a $15 an hour march in Boston last year are at www.valleypost.org/node/1033.

The increases in the California and New York minimum wages were announced in recent days and will be phased in over the next six years. About 39 million people live in California; about 20 million in New York. Massachusetts is home to about 7 million people; New Hampshire and Vermont about 1 million each. The minimum wage in California is now $10; in New York it's $9.

Workers in the most densely populated parts of New York state will get $15; those in rural areas will get $12.50. Most of California is rural. Workers there will still get $15.

The minimum wage in Massachusetts is now $10 and will be $11 an hour starting January 2017. The minimum wage in Vermont is now $9.60 and will be $10 an hour starting January 2017 and $10.50 a year after that. New Hampshire's minimum wage is $7.25; no increases are scheduled.

In related news, in Northampton on April 7 there will be a 5 p.m. rally at city hall (210 Main Street) for justice for poor workers. Details are at:

www.facebook.com/events/493659590820979

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