National News

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On Friday, lowest-wage workers get a pay hike

By Tony Pugh
McClatchy Newspapers, Jul 19 2009

WASHINGTON — The final installment of a three-part increase in the federal minimum wage is proving to be the most controversial.

Two previous wage hikes, one in 2007, the other in 2008, pushed the federal wage to $5.85 and then to the current $6.55 an hour. The third, which goes into effect Friday, will push it to $7.25 an hour.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Different views on minimum wage; Is it good business to pay workers $7.25 an hour?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jul 19 2009

Cindia Cameron, Organizing Director, 9to5 National Association of Working Women Co-chair, Georgia Minimum Wage Coalition

In 1938, with an unemployment rate of 19 percent, President Franklin Roosevelt said of the new minimum wage law, "The increase of national purchasing power [is] an underlying necessity of the day."

America needs an increase in minimum wage

Op-ed by Fred Hammond
Tuscaloosa News, Jul 19 2009
A coalition of faith leaders and community partners, called Let Justice Roll is calling on Congress to raise the minimum again in 2010 to $10 an hour. The grass roots organization claims this will move us closer to the goal of the “minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being of workers” articulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established the minimum wage in 1938.

This call to increase the minimum wage is being made even before the last phase of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 goes into effect on Friday.

Minimum wage going up July 24

By Valerie J. Morgan
On Common Ground News, Jul 15 2009
The federal minimum wage for workers in Georgia and 28 other states will increase from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour starting July 24. This will mark the third increase in three years.
For a full-time worker, the 70-cent hike will mean a weekly pay increase to $290 and annual earnings of $15,080. Even with the increase, however, a family of three still will fall below the federal poverty line of $17, 600. About a third of Georgians impacted by the change are parents, according to state  labor officials.

A Higher Minimum Wage - The Best Stimulus, Assert Workers, Business Owners, Organizers and Faith Leaders

Jul 15 2009

Marilynn Winn, Atlanta worker getting raise July 24When the federal minimum wage rises from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour on July 24, the national Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign will celebrate – and call for another increase to $10 in 2010.

Atlanta Worker Marilynn Winn

“The minimum wage was enacted during the Great Depression to put a floor under workers’ wages and stimulate the economy. We need that boost today,” said Holly Sklar, Let Justice Roll Senior Policy Adviser and author of the just-updated Raising the Minimum Wage in Hard Times and Raise the Minimum Wage to $10 in 2010. “The long-term fall in worker buying power is one reason we are in the worst economic crisis since the Depression. $10 in 2010 will foster a productive economy fueled by living wages rather than destructive debt and speculation.”

Data back up push for increase

Letter to the Editor
By Holly Sklar
Boston, MA
Boston Globe, Jul 14 2009

Jeff Jacoby (“Minimum-wage folly,’’ Op-ed, July 8) correctly quoted me as saying that minimum wage increases do not increase unemployment, but he failed to mention the empirical research I’ve summarized on the Let Justice Roll website to back that up.

Business owners support living wage

Letter to the Editor
By Laury Hammel
Wayland, MA
Boston Globe, Jul 14 2009

IN HIS critique of raising the minimum wage, Jeff Jacoby (Op-ed, July 8) cites economists who have predicted that jobs would be lost as a result of such an increase. He’s certainly not talking to owners of small or mid-sized businesses. We hire workers because there is work to be done, and we certainly do not lay someone off because we are “forced’’ to pay $7.25 an hour.

Fair Pay for Caregivers

New York Times, Jul 9 2009
Change is too slow coming for the nation’s one million home care aides. In 2007, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a 1975 federal labor regulation that defines home care aides as “companions.” That definition exempts home care employers — often for-profit agencies — from having to pay the federal minimum wage or time and a half for overtime.

In explaining their decision, the justices pointed out that the law gives the Labor Department, not the court, the power to change the regulation.

Minimum wage rising; workers, advocates available for comment from Let Justice Roll

Jul 9 2009
As the July 24 increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 approaches, the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign can provide you with workers, advocates, businesspeople and other spokespeople in favor of raising the minimum wage:
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