Still Pretty Minimum

US faith and community coalition welcomes minimum wage victory
From Ekklesia

The Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, a national US coalition of 91 religious, labour and community organizations, has thanked the Senate for voting to raise the minimum wage for the first time in many years.

“This is a long-overdue step forward for millions of American workers and their families. We are grateful the Senate heard the voices of millions of working people and their allies in groups such as ours,” a spokesperson said.

While Let Justice Roll proclaims itself very pleased with the vote, it stresses that it is aware that harmful and extraneous items were also included in the bill – provisions it says will hurt many of the workers it aims to help, such as leased employees. The bill also includes what campaigners call “unnecessary business tax breaks.”

It adds: “We look forward to working with Senate and House leaders on a clean, final bill that will swiftly land on President Bush’s desk and be signed into law.”

Churches and other allies stress: “Raising the minimum wage is good for workers, businesses, and our communities. Executives from businesses large and small worked with Let Justice Roll on the campaign to raise the minimum wage. But the minimum wage is a moral issue as well as an economic one. In a recent Let Justice Roll statement to Congress, over 1,000 faith leaders noted the unconscionable and immoral reality that our nation’s wealth is built on the backs of those who are working and poor.”

The Rev Dr Paul H. Sherry, Let Justice Roll national coordinator, calls the Senate vote, “a significant step toward the day when all American workers earn a living wage, the day when a job will keep you out of poverty, not in it. But we still have a long way to go.”

The Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign is a fast-growing coalition working to support legislation to raise the minimum wage both at the federal level and in selected states.

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