ORLANDO, Fla. — Democrats voted to add a $15 minimum wage into the party’s platform Friday night, taking a major step sought by Bernie Sanders and labor unions.
“Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage,” the new plank reads. “We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour.”
Hillary Clinton's campaign added the words “over time” to original amendment, which was sponsored by former Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, a Sander ally.
The amendment was passed overwhelmingly by the 187-member Democratic Platform Committee.
It was a major breakthrough after hours of delays at the first meeting of the Platform Committee. Campaign negotiators worked behind the scenes throughout the day to condense 232 proposed amendments and find common ground.
Seven hours after the meeting was scheduled to begin, delegates had only approved the preamble and tested the remotes delegates use to vote. It was clear both sides arrived here without having worked out some key sticking points, leaving delegates to mill about as they waited for news.
Clinton allies have been impressed by the professionalism of Sanders' whip operation, with delegates on both sides noting it’s the first genuinely contested platform process since 1988.
Delegates have another day for votes, including on the most contentious issue of the meeting: the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. Sanders wants strong opposition to the deal included in the platform, while Clinton has opposed that, since the massive trade pact remains a priority of the Obama White House.