Minimum Wage Campaign Fights for National Living Wage
Interview with Holly Sklar, senior policy adviser with the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
As some Wall Street firms announce post-taxpayer bailout record profits, there's a tiny bit of good news at the other end of the economic spectrum. On July 24, the third and final increase in a three-tier federal minimum wage law goes into effect, raising wages for the lowest paid workers covered under the law from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. The first increase in ten years sent the minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 in 2007.
Even though the latest increase means an additional $1,400 a year for full-time workers, their new total salary totals just over $15,000 annually -- not really enough for one person to live on, much less a family. The minimum wage, instituted during the Great Depression, mandated a national base pay for all workers. However, during the intervening years, wage earners have suffered a dramatic decrease in buying power that exacerbates the financial crisis many working families find themselves in during the nation's current severe recession.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Holly Sklar, senior policy adviser for the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign. She explains that the campaign's goal is not just incremental increases in the minimum wage, but a real living wage equal to what workers earned 50 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
Contact Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign by calling (617) 522-2923 or visit their website at www.letjusticeroll.org
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