Multi-Faith Coalition Calls for Federal Minimum Wage Increase

Faith advocates speak during a 2014 "Raise Maryland Faith Rally" that led to then-Governor Martin O’Malley to signs state legislation raising Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10.

Faith advocates speak during a 2014 “Raise Maryland Faith Rally” that led to Governor Martin O’Malley signing state legislation raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 [SOURCE: Office of the Governor of Maryland via Flickr]

BY ISN STAFFMay 1, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – Led by the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs, a broad ranging group of sixteen national faith-based advocacy organizations have called on members of Congress to support legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020.

“We believe that no one in America should work full-time and make only poverty wages,” said a letter sent to members of congress on April 30, 2015.  The current federal minimum wage, last raised six years ago, only generates an income of $15,080 per year, five thousand dollars below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

The letter asks all members of both the House and Senate to support the “Raise the Wage Act” which also includes language to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers as well. Federal law currently only guarantees tipped workers $2.13 per hour.  The minimum tipped wages has not been raised since 1991.

Organizational signatories of the letter included:
Bread for the World
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Ignatian Solidarity Network
Islamic Relief USA
Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
National Council of Jewish Women
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
The Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

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