All Work Must Be Valued with a Minimum Wage – Support Raising of Minimum Wage
All Work Must Be Valued with a Minimum Wage
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J. Herbert Nelson, II
Millions of workers in the United States are inadequately compensated for their work. Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years. Employee compensation is at the lowest level in 65 years.1
“In faith, responding to our Creator, we celebrate the full humanity of each woman, man, and child, all created in the divine image as individuals of infinite worth, by working for…
• Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work.
• The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.
• Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.”
Indeed, our biblical tradition reminds us that the livelihood of workers is a responsibility of the community. The prophet Malachi, echoing earlier laws and prophets, prophesies, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against… those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” (3:5)
The system of low-wage work in the U.S. ensures that those who are vulnerable and poor will stay vulnerable and poor. Low-wage work cannot support a family, nor provide workers with the necessary supports to climb out of poverty. A job should keep workers out of poverty, not in it!
Jesus said, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” In the tradition of the Savior who came to bring good news to the disheartened, dispirited, and disenfranchised, we must support social justice for all God’s children.