Eric Douglas Published

Groups Pressure Sen. Manchin To Support $15/hour Wage


Representatives of Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign met online with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin yesterday. They encouraged him to support the $15 an hour federal minimum wage.

Several West Virginians on the video call shared personal stories of their struggles — both before and during the pandemic.

“If you’ve never lived in poverty, you have no idea mentally, physically, emotionally what it does to you and wears on you,” said Pam Garrison of Fayette County.

West Virginia’s minimum wage is currently $8.75 an hour. Manchin has opposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Raising the federal minimum wage would not automatically raise the minimum wage in West Virginia.

“Having grown up in the small coal-mining town of Farmington, Sen. Manchin understands the challenges facing working West Virginians and small business owners,” said Sam Runyon, a spokesman for the senator. “He appreciated the opportunity to meet with Bishop Barber and members of the Poor People’s Campaign to discuss the issues most important to them. As always, he encourages West Virginians to exercise their First Amendment right by continuing to reach out to their elected representatives to share their concerns.”

Manchin made no indication that his opinion on the matter had been swayed in the call.

The Poor People’s Campaign plans to hold a rally outside Manchin’s Charleston office on Feb. 22 (next Monday) at 3 p.m.