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Hundreds rally for minimum wage increase

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Hundreds rally for minimum wage increase
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Tuesday, people from all across New York State gathered in Albany, calling on lawmakers to raise the state's minimum wage to $8.75 an hour. Right now it is $7.25, which demonstrators say is far too low. YNN's Lori Chung has more from Albany.


ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour, but demonstrators descended on Albany to advance a ball that Governor Andrew Cuomo put in play.

"We're here to fight for the governor's proposal," said Michael Kink of Strong Economy for All. "$8.75, implemented July 1st."

Among them, food service workers like Martin Scarborough calling on lawmakers for their support.

"The cost here in New York is really high and it's so important, people have families to support," said Scarborough. "I'm trying to support mine."

Protestors say that's impossible to do on minimum wage, but others say there's more to consider.

"With the economy and what we've gone through since 2008, it hasn't been easy," said Jack Yonally, owner of B. Lodge Department Store in Albany.

"I honestly believe that the minimum wage should go up a little bit, [but] I don't know that they have to take the big jump they're making."

And though everyone at his store earns more than the minimum, Yonally says he expects his payroll costs could rise nevertheless.

"If I'm paying somebody $10, they'll naturally consider that they're worth more too and rightfully so," Yonally said.

While Yonally is a retailer, Mark Eagan of the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber says many of his members share those same concerns.

"A 20 percent increase at one time is dramatic, no matter what size your company is," said Eagan.

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