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Local 'Fight for $15' Campaign Launches

On Wednesday, while state leaders held a hearing in Albany on raising the minimum wage, a "Fight for $15" campaign kicked off in the Southern Tier.

Groups including Citizen Action of New York, low wage earners, and the Broome Tioga Federation of Labor gathered at the State Office Building in Binghamton to discuss why they believe a $15 per hour minimum wage increase is vital for a person to make a living.

They brought a list of 50 petition names to Senator Fred Akshar's Binghamton office. They plan to bring 1,000 names to him in Albany on March 15th for a statewide rally.

"So many people that work two and three jobs at minimum wage still have to go to food pantries and to soup kitchens with their families because they can't make ends meet," said Amy Fleming, spokesperson for Citizen Action of NY, "Those are the kinds of messages that we're trying to get across."

To find out more about the "Fight for $15", click here.

FOX 40 also spoke with opposing forces on why they don't believe a $15 per hour minimum wage increase would benefit the Southern Tier.

"To be able to hire, to create an environment to allow us to pay employees more; you don't have to raise minimum wage," said Art Price, Vice President Roto-Rooter of Broome-Tioga County, "What you need to do is create a business environment that allows businesses to grow, so that more people can be paid a living wage."

Price is a member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. The organization is part of a campaign called Minimum Wage Reality Check. The campaign believes that this wage increase would negatively impact New York, resulting in job losses and a higher cost of living. To find out more on this campaign, click here.