With giant pennies, low-wage workers will give Rob McKenna their "two cents" about raising the minimum wage

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR JULY 24, 2012***CONTACT: Sage Wilson, 206-227-6014, sage@workingwa.org

"Rob McKenna didn't want us to have our 12¢. So we're giving him our 2¢ — with his face on it."

TODAY, low-wage workers will gather outside the Attorney General's office in downtown Seattle to give Rob McKenna their "two cents" — in the form of giant pennies with McKenna's face on them — about his attempt to block a 12¢ increase in the minimum wage. The voices of a low-wage child care worker, a low-wage airport worker, and others will be joined by dozens of community supporters to tell Rob McKenna it's time he listened to the 99% and heard that we need a raise.

The McKenna campaign for Governor has received more than $16,000 from some of the largest low-wage employers in the country, but there is at least one worker McKenna has supported raises for: McKenna himself. In fact, not long before he argued 12¢ was more than minimum-wage workers should get, he made the case that his own 6-figure paycheck was "too low."


When: TODAY — Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 11:00 am 

Where: Attorney General's Office in downtown Seattle: 800 5th Avenue

What/visuals: Low-wage workers give Rob McKenna their "two cents" by speaking out about their struggles to make ends meet and calling on the Attorney General to stop opposing pay increases for low-wage workers while taking thousands of dollars from low-wage employers. Workers & community supporters will be holding 12 giant pennies with McKenna's head on them and reading "In low wages I trust" to emphasize the 12¢ raise he tried to block. McKenna's attempt to keep 12¢ out of the pockets of low-wage workers is not the first time he has opposed economic policies that would lift up the 99%. As a member of the King County Council, he voted against a raise for childcare workers who were earning barely more than minimum wage. And just before launching his bid for Governor, he said he'd support a lower, sub-minimum wage for some workers.

McKenna's record of opposing raises for the 99% may be due to the people who have his ear — and fill his campaign treasury. In fact, a recent report shows that the 4 of the 6 largest low-wage employers in the country gave a total of more than $16,000 directly to the McKenna campaign — Walmart, Yum Brands (which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC), McDonald's, and Subway. What do they expect in return?

The event in Seattle is part of a national day of action to raise the minimum wage. Low-wage workers in dozens of cities are calling on elected officials and big corporations to give the 99% a raise by supporting higher state minimum wage laws and measures like the proposal by Senator Tom Harkin to raise the Federal minimum wage to $9.80/hour.

More information:

  • Report on low-wage employers in the country by the National Employment Law Project: "Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage": http://www.raisetheminimumwage.org/pages/report-big-business-corporate-profits-and-the-minimum-wage
  • According to PDC filings, four of the six largest low-wage employers on the list (Walmart, Yum Brands, McDonalds, and Subway) have given a total of $16,900 to the McKenna campaign.
  • McKenna arguing his 6-figure salary was "too low": http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/797404/state_officials_legislators_judges_could_be_smiling/