Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Call For $15 Minimum Wage; Don't Pay Their Interns

All three Democratic candidates for Michigan governor are using their websites to call for a $15 per hour minimum wage. Gretchen Whitmer says, “As Senate Democratic Leader, I passed a minimum wage increase with a cost-of-living adjustment. It’s a start, but it’s not enough, and together we’ll continue to fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage.” Another candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, says, “As governor, I will fight to make work pay by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.” A third candidate, Shri Thanedar, pledges himself to “increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”

ForTheRecord says: Actually, they don’t believe that everyone should make $15 per hour. Each of these candidates not only will take volunteers, but they offer unpaid internships. Whitmer is looking for interns to work 15 to 25 hours per week and these positions are unpaid. On his website, El-Sayed calls for unpaid interns who will work 5 to 8 hours per week. Thanedar has advertised for unpaid internship which are still open.

Rachel Felice, spokesman for Thanedar, claimed they pay their interns.

"Shri Thanedar is a strong proponent of the $15 minimum wage proposal," Felice said in an email. "The long term benefits of implementing the concept over time far outweigh the costs. No one who works full-time should be living below the poverty line. A $15 minimum wage is necessary to ensure that we live that value in Michigan. In terms of the campaign, we do not offer any unpaid intern positions. Our staff members are all compensated accordingly."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from Shri Thandedar's campaign.