NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden laid out his plan for his first days in office.
His proposed legislation would push for a $15 national minimum wage and for ending the tipped minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities.
It can be the raise many working in the service industry say they need to get a leg up and make ends meet.
“Our union doesn’t feel like anyone who works 40 hours a week at a full-time job shouldn’t be able to support themselves in their families,” said Brad Rayson, president of SEIU local 205.
Rayson says it's been an ongoing battle. The employee’s union has been pushing for a living wage for its members for years through its 'Fight for 15' campaigns.
“There’s a whole lot more people working in the service industry, in our schools, maintaining our buildings, caring for our family members who are not making $15 an hour.”
And now, Rayson says they're getting close with the proposal by President-elect Biden.
“It’s exciting news, it’s exciting to see the incoming administration taking this as a priority right off the back,” Rayson said.
Biden said there "should be a national minimum wage of $15 an hour. No one working 40 dollars a week should live below the poverty line."
Rayson says this could help service employees like servers, bartenders, and even fast-food workers.
“We were the original organization that really started for the push for a $15 minimum wage. And not too long it was kind of seen as a pie in the sky and now it is the standard that a lot of places are really seeing as what it needs to be,” Rayson said.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is 7.25 an hour. Rayson says it's been that amount since 2009.