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Battle to raise the minimum wage to $15 in Tucson

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 01:28:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The current minimum wage is $12.15 in Arizona, but the Tucson Fight for $15 campaign is looking to change that.

"I think the point is that people should make enough to live on one job. Not have to work 2 jobs just to pay the rent," CJ Boyd, the campaign manager for the group, said.

Right now, they have a petition with over 20,000 signatures to get their measure on the ballot. Their goal is to get 27,000 by the start of July.

The Tucson Business Owners group is pushing back against the petition.

"I think the biggest thing is that it gets in between the business owner and their employees," Carlos Ruiz, owner of HT Metals in Tucson, said.

He adds that this is not the time to raise the wage.

"Businesses have closed. Businesses that have survived are struggling," Ruiz said. Right now, is not the time to force and artificially high minimum wage in Tucson.

Tucson Fight for $15 is proposing a gradual minimum wage increase over the next four years. The $15 wage would begin in January of 2025.

The full measure can be found here.

The measure also includes a wage investigator position. This position would investigate different businesses around the city. Ruiz said the measure is an overreach, but Boyd says it is to look after employees.

"If you have a grievance with your boss you can come to this place and say I'm supposed to be making $15 they aren't paying me $15 they are paying me $12," Boyd said.