Monday is a nationwide day of action to push for a higher minimum wage.
Organizing for Action (OFA) volunteers and supporters in Tennessee are gathering signatures for a petition calling on lawmakers across the country to raise the minimum wage.
A full-time American worker earning the federal minimum wage has a yearly salary of $14,500 and supports of the petition say it’s just not enough.
“Right, who could live on that? It’s despicable; it’s despicable,” Chris Kelly-Bygrave told News 2.
Women make up nearly two-thirds of workers who earn the minimum wage or less.
“Most of the people living in poverty are woman with children, so I’m all for raising the minimum wage,” Lind Crooks said.
The senate recently failed to move forward on a bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, but Kelly-Bygrave says that still wouldn’t be enough.
“That’s nothing. You have to have at least $20 an hour with the rate of inflation. Ten dollars is nothing.”
Supporters will push for the raise at the office of Senator Lamar Alexander’s Monday afternoon.
Those who oppose a minimum wage hike say they’re concerned it would increase unemployment.
By percentage, Tennessee has the highest number of workers making minimum wage or less.
With the state’s work force around 1.6 million people, nearly 120,000 people, or 7.4%, earn minimum wage or less.