Business

Low-wage workers march in downtown Boston for higher pay

Low-wage workers from multiple industries marched in downtown Boston to draw attention to the fight for higher pay.
Essdras M Suarez/Globe staff
Low-wage workers from multiple industries marched in downtown Boston to draw attention to the fight for higher pay.

Nearly 1,000 low-wage workers and their supporters marched through the streets of downtown Boston Thursday to bring attention to the growing fight for higher pay.

Starting with a spirited rally at Copley Square, the workers joined forces across industries, from home health care to retail to fast food, backed by union organizers and members from around the city. Felix Arroyo, the city’s head of Health and Human Services, spoke about eliminating the phrase “working poor.”

“If you work, you shouldn’t be poor,” he said.

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Then the workers poured onto Boylston Street, chanting as drummers and horn players provided the soundtrack. They stopped for speeches in front of a restaurant, fast food establishment, and home health care provider.

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The protest grew out of fast food workers’ call to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which has spread across the country, and across industries.

Meanwhile, a House and Senate committee negotiated a compromise this week that would raise the Massachusetts minimum wage to $11 an hour from $8 over three years, and raise tipped workers’ base pay to $3.75 an hour, but would not tie future wage increases to inflation.

Related:

Editorial: ‘Service Not Included’

Mass. poised to be pacesetter for minimum wage

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Panel of lawmakers agrees to raise state minimum wage

Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.