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Workers Gain From Ballot Initiatives

Amy Traub

There’s no question that Tuesday’s elections brought some significant wins for working people. I’m not talking about the candidates – although national political reporters are busy acknowledging Obama’s reelection as a clear sign that “labor ain’t dead”  and pondering the policy implications of victories for pro-worker politicians like Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown – but rather thinking about the ballot initiatives, where in several votes across the country voters spoke out clearly in favor of raising workplace standards and preserving rights on the job.

We can speculate about exactly what candidates will do once in office, but it seems certain that many working people will benefit from higher wages, improved benefits, and a right to a voice at work as a direct result of the following ballot measures:

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, 40,000 low-wage workers in will get a pay boost as voters in the city overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of an increase in the municipal minimum wage. In January 2013, the city’s minimum will rise from $7.50 to $8.50 per hour with automatic adjustments for inflation.