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Workers, Elected Officials Call For City To Set Its Own Minimum Wage

Lawmakers and workers rally Feb. 14 at City Hall in support of New York City determining its own minimum wage. (credit: Public Advocate Letita James/Twitter)

Lawmakers and workers rally Feb. 14 at City Hall in support of New York City determining its own minimum wage. (credit: Public Advocate Letita James/Twitter)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Demonstrators gathered on the steps of City Hall Friday to push for a local minimum wage.

As WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reported, ralliers chanted “poverty wages have to go” and “we want change and we don’t mean pennies.”

City officials including the city council speaker, the public advocate and the comptroller joined low-wage workers to call on Albany to allow New York City the right to set its own minimum wage.

“The fact that most of the new jobs being created in New York and nationally pay low wages is one of the major economic challenges facing communities across the state,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said. “Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago are all considering $15 an hour minimum wage. In New York, the time is now!”

President Barack Obama called for a national minimum wage of $10.10, up from the current $7.25 an hour, in his State of the Union address last month. Mayor Bill de Blasio voiced his support for a similar move.

“I make $250 a week and it’s not enough to support my family,” fast food worker Elba Godoy told Lamb. “At the end of the week when I get my check, I have to make choices – what’s the most important bill that I have to pay?”

New York’s minimum hourly wage was bumped up to $8¬†at the start of 2014.

Critics have said an increase in the minimum wage could force businesses to lay off workers.

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