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Labor Day protests to target lawmakers in Midwestern battleground states
Labor activists are targeting politicians across the country - and particularly in the Midwest - on Labor Day with protests demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
Reuters reported Saturday that the protests in as many as 400 cities across the country will focus primarily on raising wages for hospital and homecare workers, and are backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The protests are intended to put pressure on state officials to adopt measures that gradually increase wages over time. Cities including New York and Washington, D.C., have already adopted such laws.
The protests particularly take aim at officials in Midwestern battleground states, like Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, has fiercely opposed raising the minimum wage.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, another Republican, is also expected to be targeted by the protests, according to Reuters. Last month, he vetoed a measure that would have raised the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage argue that doing so hurts business and job growth, because employers are less likely to hire more workers.
Proponents of raising the minimum wage, however, say it would have little effect on employment and would allow workers to make a livable wage without having to rely on government assistance.