08/25/2011 10:56 am ET Updated Oct 25, 2011

Low-Wage Magnificent Mile Workers March For Higher Minimum Wage

Low-wage workers, community, labor and religious advocacy groups will march down Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile,” a shopping and tourist area with a high concentration of the city’s low-paying jobs, as part of a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Illinois.

The march will begin at 11:00 a.m. Thursday on Michigan Avenue, beginning at the Tribune Tower Plaza and continuing north to Huron Street, according to a news release issued by Action Now, the community organization that planned the march.

The minimum wage in Illinois is currently $8.25 an hour. The Raise Illinois coalition hopes the march will promote Senate Bill 1565, legislation introduced this year that would raise the minimum wage up to $10.65 over four years.

The coalition conducted a poll in January and found that 71 percent of Illinois voters support a minimum wage increase, Action Now reports. According to the National Employment Law Project, the 1969 minimum wage of $1.60 per hour would be worth more than $10 per hour according to present-day values of the dollar. Nationally, however $7 per hour is the average minimum wage.

Marchers chose the “Magnificent Mile” as the site of their demonstration because the area brings in huge profits, but many of its businesses employ minimum wage workers, the Associated Press reports.

Participants will be carrying signs, chanting and distributing cards with information about the campaign to raise the minimum wage as they walk down Michigan Avenue, according to the release.

Flickr photo by union person.