Protesters Call for Higher Wages in Columbus
Updated: Monday, April 29 2013, 07:44 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- In a city that recently made Forbes’ list of “America’s Biggest Brain Magnets” and was named Bloomberg Business Week’s #9 Best City for New College Grads, workers gathered Monday to draw attention to the fact that, while unemployment is going down, the poverty rate is going up.
“I was making $10.25 an hour, then I was reduced back to $9.70,” said Thurman Elliott, who works full-time for a security company.
A crowd of several dozen people -- organized by the Service Employees International Union -- gathered outside the headquarters of an auto insurance company where workers are currently at odds with contractors that employ janitors and security guards.
A recent report prepared by the state backs up their claim that fewer jobs are paying a living wage.
The Ohio Poverty Report, which was released in February based on numbers from the most recent U.S. Census, shows the percentage of poor Ohioans climbed from 10.6% in 1999 to 16.4% in 2011, which is above the national average.
In Columbus, the poverty rate went from 14.8 % in 1999 to 21.8% in 2011.
The protestors at Monday's demonstration demanded the business pay more.
Among proposed solutions to Columbus's poverty problem include making it easier for businesses to create jobs, increasing the minimum wage, and lowering healthcare costs.
Reporter: Dana Jay
Web Producer: Ken Hines