Labor Issues
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“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

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“Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.”

— Bernie Sanders

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“No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more sufficient to cover the bare cost of living....”

— Theodore Roosevelt

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“An industry that cannot pay its workers a decent living wage has no right to exist.”

— Fiorello H. La Guardia

Labor Issues News

Starbucks union asks coffee giant to extend pay hikes, benefits to unionized stores

by Kate Rogers, CNBC With pay increases set to kick in at Starbucks cafes around the U.S. on Monday, labor organizers are asking the coffee giant to extend the benefits to unionized…
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Fact Sheet

  • The minimum wage does not provide a living wage for most American families. A typical family of four needs to work nearly four full-time minimum-wage jobs to earn a living wage.
    MIT
  • A single-mother with two children earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour needs to work 138 hours per week to earn a living wage.
    MIT
  • The average income of a low-income working family, adjusted for inflation, is 11% lower than it was in 1979.
    Economic Policy Institute
  • Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968.
    Pew Research
  • Thirty million Americans make less than $8.70 an hour, the official U.S. poverty level for a family of four.
    POV.org
  • The restaurant/food service industry is the single biggest employer of near-minimum-wage workers.
    Pew Research
  • Labor violations
  • Rising cost of living
  • Federal minimum wage has stagnated since 2009
  • Workers' dependents
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Ways to Take Action

Donate to organizations already working towards raising the minimum wage

These organizations already have a game plan and are capable of accomplishing much more than individuals by themselves. It is a great way to see the changes you want to see. Make sure to thoroughly check out the organization before you donate to make sure your funding will be spent appropriately.

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Contacting officials and representatives is a great way to inform them of your ideas. By reaching out to them you can directly inform them of your wishes and ideas and its a great way to exercise your rights.

Signing a petition is a great way to show community support for an idea or topic. If enough people generate enough momentum and make enough noise, it can be brought to the attention of people who can make those changes.

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Recommended Media

The restaurant industry has driven a significant amount of economic growth since the Great Recession, but many restaurant employees continue to end up hungry due to a two-tiered wage system that allows tipped workers to be paid as little as $2.13 an hour. CBSN Originals' Adam Yamaguchi travels to Indiana to explore the impact of tipping as a primary source of income for people in one of America’s fastest-growing workforces.

Where to Watch: YouTube

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Living Wage Now! is a 30-minute film that features garment workers and their allies from across Asia who describe the practices that allow fashion brands to keep their prices low for Western consumers.

“My salary is very low, only 160 USD per month. That is just not enough to cover basic expenses,” a young Cambodian woman says at the start. “Like rent, my children’s education, food and water, repaying loans.”

Where to Watch: YouTube

The film focuses on the garment workers and representatives in ‘garment hotspots’ silenced by brands. Livia and Andrew speak to the network of garment workers and activists they have maintained contact with over a decade. They uncover a flow of evidence, carried by women from the gates of ‘secret’ factories to a network of female legal professionals across the world, led by lawyers in The Circle, a global NGO using the collective power of women to support the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.

Where to Watch: YouTube

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