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12E.4.8 New minimum wage rally

Photograph shows Margarita Vargas speaking at a rally to inform workers in the garment district not to work for less than $4.25 an hour, which is the new minimum wage. Photograph dated July 1, 1988.
Ramsess, Akili-Casundria
Photographic Print
Ramsess, Akili-Casundria. New minimum wage rally. Photograph. 1988. Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photo Collection.

This 1988 photo includes a number of people involved in the push to increase the minimum wage in the state of California. Aside from the Catholic priests seen in the black shirts, most of the people here belonged to unions. These union members campaigned for a long time through various means to secure this increase to the minimum wage. 

Why do you think priests would be involved in this movement? Why do you think that these people would come together to hold a community event in the Los Angeles garment district to inform the public of this increase in the minimum wage?


This public notice event followed on the heels of the passage of the new minimum wage law. Unions used marches, hearings, and other organized events to successfully push for this increase. The California Labor Federation of the AFL-CIO (the statewide federation of unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO) provided support and motivation for these events. In California, there are two key ways to increase the minimum wage: (1) by statute and (2) by statewide initiative. By providing a public notice event in the Los Angeles garment district, the people in this photo were helping ensure that employers understand the law, and that workers understand that they should expect $4.25 an hour. When laborers are willing to work for less than the minimum wage, they can make it more difficult to compel employers to honor the minimum wage.
(pictured in poster held by people in rally) $4.25 It's the Law