WASHINGTON, March 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The North Carolina law striking down anti-discrimination protections for gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals also blocks cities and towns from increasing wages for the state's lowest-paid workers, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.
"This is an undemocratic bill that not only discriminates against members of the LGBT community but suppresses wages for working class people who are struggling to make ends meet on $7.25 an hour," said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr., who is a native of North Carolina.
"The state legislators who passed this shameful bill are tying the hands of locally elected leaders and denying them the ability to pass laws that improve the lives of their own citizens. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. Alabama's state leaders recently enacted their own bill that prevents cities from increasing the minimum wage above the federal floor of $7.25 an hour.
"If lawmakers in Charlotte believe that the state's anti-discrimination laws don't go far enough to protect their residents, they should be allowed to enhance those protections. If local officials in Birmingham want to raise the minimum wage so entry-level workers can afford to live there, they should be allowed to do that.
"Inaction at the state level is bad enough, but preventing local leaders from taking action on their own is undemocratic and un-American."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees