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Public Papers - 1989

Statement on Proposed Minimum Wage Legislation

1989-10-31

I am pleased to announce that a minimum wage package consistent with the criteria I set forth in March of this year has been agreed to by the Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress and the leadership of organized labor. The plan would increase the minimum wage to .25 an hour by April 1, 1991, and provide for a training-wage differential. This package gives relief to those with the greatest need in our work force while at the same time protecting job opportunities for young workers.

For the first time, a training-wage differential is available for those entering our work force. The plan provides for a training wage for workers under the age of 20. No one entering the work force will be covered by a training wage for more than 6 months.

I commend organized labor for their participation in this process, as well as the participation of the leadership in Congress. They understand the value of having a sound minimum wage package that does not endanger job opportunities for those entering our work force.

We believe the working people of this country deserve appropriate pay for their efforts. This package offers the promise of better wages for the working men and women of this country and gives incentives to create new jobs for our young people. During the campaign, I called for an increase in the minimum wage that would protect jobs and put more money in the pockets of our workers. This package meets those criteria.

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