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Labor Group Sues Gov. Walker Over Minimum Wage

A labor group announced a lawsuit against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Monday in the hopes of forcing the state to raise the minimum wage.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Raise WI, argues that the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) didn’t adequately consider the concerns of about 100 workers who say the minimum wage is too low, the Greenwich Times reports.

Additionally, the lawsuit urges the judge to order Walker to set up a wage council to consider what would be an appropriate living wage.

The lawsuit says that at least four of the workers are homeless while others can’t afford heat, food or medical care.

John Dipko, spokesman for the DWD explained to the Greenwich Times that many of the workers who filed complaints already earn more than minimum wage.

Though he had not yet seen the lawsuit, Dipko said the department would decide what to do after receiving formal notice.

Walker dismissed the lawsuit, stating that it was nothing more than a “raw, cheap political stunt” filed a week before the election.

“If they were serious about this, they would have done it six months or a year ago,” Walker said during a campaign stop in Middleton, according to Greenwich Times. “The fact its being done now is nothing more than to augment the Washington, D.C., money being spent on attack ads to try and drive this issue up.”

“These underpaid workers who filed these complaints are not looking to get rich, they are not talking about wanting to, you know, buy a Lexus or invest in an offshore business in the Cayman Islands. What they are talking about is being able to afford basic needs,” Jennifer Addison, the executive director of the labor group Wisconsin Jobs Now, told the Greenwich Times.

Wisconsin Jobs Now is a partner of Raise WI.

Mary Burke, Walker’s Democratic challenger in next Tuesday’s election, supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

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