Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Conyers Joins Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. in introducing Bill to Raise Federal Minimum Wage to $10.00

U.S. Representatives John Conyers, Jr., Jesse Jackson, Jr.,
Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader announcing federal
minimum wage bill

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) joined Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and the president of Public Citizen Robert Weissman at a press conference to announce the introduction of the “Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2012”, which would raise the current federal minimum wage to $10.00 per hour and require an annual increase to the minimum wage indexed to inflation.  Should the federal minimum wage be raised to $10.00, it would still be less than the minimum wage in 1968 adjusted for inflation.  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. 

“I am pleased to join my fellow Members of Congress to advocate for the passage of Representative Jackson’s bill to raise Americans’ wages,” said Conyers.  “This legislation is long-overdue and sorely needed.  More than 30 million Americans would see their wages increased which would provide an immediate boost to the economy.  And if you look at today’s levels of inflation, average wages, and productivity, the data clearly shows that today’s minimum wage provides far less for American families than it has historically.  In fact, as the bill’s name suggests, even if raised to $10.00 per hour, the rate would still be lower than in 1968 if adjusted for inflation.  This bill is a good starting point for reversing this unacceptable historical trend in working and middle class wages.   

“The minimum wage was originally created to ensure that workers were able to secure a decent and dignified life for themselves and their families through their labor.  As the years have passed and the purchasing power provided by the minimum wage has waned, this social contract has been broken and the exploitation of low-income workers has increased at a disturbing rate.  So, I call on Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi to take up this bill with all deliberate haste, so that Congress can reverse this troublesome trend and put our country back on the path of having an economy that works for everyone, employee and employer alike.”

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