Monday, June 19, 2006

How about a living wage?

The minimum wage in the US has been set at $5.15/hr since 1997. In that time, Congress has voted to give themselves a raise 9 times which have totaled more than 3 times a 40-hour/week FT salary of the minimum wage earner. In contrast, the $10,700 a minimum wage worker earns for a full year of 40-hour work weeks is $5,000 less than the official poverty line for a family of 3.

To put this into perspective, Senator Rick Santorum not only had to suck it up and let his wife do some work not related to keeping his house and raising his children to add another much needed $4,000/month to his then measly $162K/year salary but he also admits to occasionally accepting a bit of financial help from his retired parents to help keep the family from debtors prison (maybe he should pretend to be a resident of FL instead PA in order to keep the homestead if he has to file for bankruptcy).

It's well past time for a raise in the minimum wage. Senator Kennedy has recently introduced an ammendment to raise the minimum wage to $7.25/hr (that's still barely over $15K/year) and a vote on the matter could happen as soon as this Wednesday.
c/o AFL-CIO E-Activist

We’re coming down to the wire. The Senate is expected to vote on a minimum wage increase this week, but opponents may try to block it with phony proposals that actually hurt workers. Meanwhile, the Republican House leadership has refused to schedule a vote even though an increase to $7.25 an hour won a solid majority vote in committee. We have fought long and hard to give America’s low-wage workers a raise. What happens depends on your action now.
Please contact your U.S. senators and representative to vote to increase the minimum wage and reject any amendments to the legislation that would hurt workers.

For more information, please check out the following:

Raising the Minimum Wage is a Matter of Fairness

Minimum Wage Showdown this Week

Let Justice Roll

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