Good News for Workers at T.J Maxx and Marshalls

February 25th 2015

Alicia Lutes

Full-time and part-time hourly employees at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores across the country are about to get an economic boost thanks to the retail chain's decision to increase its minimum wage to $9. A good start if still coming quite short on the 'giving your employees a livable wage' front.

The news was the result of a holiday quarter that exceeded sales growth and profit expectations, Chief Executive Officer Carol Meyrowitz announced. "This pay initiative is an important part of our strategies to continue attracting and retaining the best talent in order to deliver a great shopping experience for our customers, remain competitive on wages in our U.S. markets and stay focused on our value mission," she announced in a statement on Wednesday. 

T.J. Maxx Corp. isn't the only retailer out there trying to up their financial game and stay competitive in the market: just last week Walmart announced it would raise its minimum wage to $9, increasing again to $10 the year after. Other companies like Gap and Starbucks have also increased their minimum wages in years prior.

But the truth of the matter is: it's still not enough. A $9 minimum wage still does not constitute a living wage in this country. According to David Cooper at the Economic Policy Institute, "Until the 1980s, earning the minimum wage was enough for a single parent to not live in poverty. Indeed, a minimum-wage income in 1968 was higher than the poverty line for a family of three. But as the figure shows, today’s minimum wage is not enough for single-parents to reach even the most basic threshold of adequate living standards. The president’s proposal to raise the minimum to $9 per hour would bring the minimum wage back to a more reasonable level, although it would still fall short of the 1968 peak."

Some places are going above and beyond the call to ensure their workers have a livable income. Like Portland, Oregon, which announced they were planning to increase their own federal hourly workers' wages to $15 an hour.

To learn more about the fight for $15 an hour, watch this video: