© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cuomo plans to bypass state Senate to increase minimum wage for fast food workers


Gov. Andrew Cuomo, at a large union rally in New York City’s Union Square to raise the minimum wage, called out fast food chains McDonalds and Burger King by name and accused them of corporate greed for under-paying workers.

Cuomo, in an animated speech, says fast food chains make huge profits while relying on taxpayers subsidies, like food stamps, to make up for the low pay they give their workers.

The governor says he’ll bypass the legislature and create a state board to examine increasing the state's minimum wage for fast food workers.

“I want to get out of the hamburger business,” Cuomo said. “I don’t want the taxpayers of New York subsidizing the profits of McDonald’s anymore. And this has to end.”

Cuomo also took a shot at the beleaguered Republican-led state Senate, which has blocked further increases in the minimum wage, saying that if the Republican Senate doesn’t want to hear it, he’ll act without them.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos has been charged with six counts of corruption in an alleged extortion and bribery scheme, but so far is remaining as Senate Leader.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whose Democratic-led house already approved a phased-in rise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, said in a statement that it’s a step in the right direction, but that all minimum wage-earners in New York State deserve a pay raise.

Last month, McDonald’s announced that it would raise its workers’ wages to $10 an hour, higher than the minimum wage in most of the nation.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.