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Dallas group puts true focus of the holiday back in Labor Day

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The first day of the Labor Day observance a group in Dallas, Texas organized a rally for higher pay, according to News 8 Day Break on Sunday, August 31. Retirees, laborers, community leaders, and residents joined forces to commemorate the holiday with rallies throughout the long Labor Day holiday weekend. While others plan to spend their days away from the office and school soaking up sun and having a last chance for water sports at local lakes and beaches, enjoying the last summer holiday attractions at area amusement parks, and shopping for the hottest end-of-summer sales at local stores and malls, this group is pounding the pavement, carrying signs, chanting, and marching for higher wages.

In addition to rallies, a special panel addressed the issue with Dallas County judge, Clay Jenkins, who told local ABC News affiliate News 8 “It's time for the county and the city to not be a part of the problem, and make sure to pay all of their employees — including their contract employees — a living wage.” Judge Jenkins has been a vocal proponent of raising wages, calling $10.25 an hour “a living wage.” He said that Dallas has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation. The judge believes that raising the minimum wage to at least $10.25 an hour would change that, as well as provide families funds for better healthcare. Jenkins also sees paying workers a higher living wage as the means of reducing crime.

Applicants and employees are often directed toward public assistance to make ends meet. Participants in the Labor Day rallies, who also marched in the Labor Day Parade Saturday, say current pay at minimum wage is not enough to provide for their families and, according to CBS/DFW News, Jenkins added that taxpayers pay when residents are forced to turn to government assistance to meet their families' financial obligations.

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