Presentation on theme: "A Training for Activists. Quiz: What was the year? “High hourly wages mean nothing to a worker if he has no job.” C.C. Shepard, Southern States Industrial."— Presentation transcript:
A Training for Activists
Quiz: What was the year? “High hourly wages mean nothing to a worker if he has no job.” C.C. Shepard, Southern States Industrial Council, 1938.
“Any temporary advantage to our two million employees would be more than offset by immediate unemployment within our industry. [A] national minimum wage within our industry is impractical and dangerous.” George R. LeSauvage, National Restaurant Association, 1949.
“The meager net profit return presently ‘enjoyed’ by retailers will leave them little or no alternative but to pass the additional costs on the consumers in the form of higher prices.” James J. Bliss, National Retails Merchants Assn., 1965.
“The increased minimum wage is a disaster to thousands of small husband- wife businesses whose owners are literally working themselves to death because they cannot afford the higher wage scale.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Minimum Wage Hike Maximizes Problems,” Nation’s Business, 1979.
Experiences with minimum wage work Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know Share your experiences with minimum wage work: you, your family or friends, your community, congregation, etc.
WHO ARE MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS IN MINNESOTA?
77% are over age 20
Abby Aguirre, New York Times 33% are parents or married
57% are women
77% are white
Yet workers of color would benefit at higher rates: 1 in 3 Hispanic workers 1 in 5 black workers 1 in 6 Asian workers 1 in 8 white workers
Almost half have some college education
Over 75% are working more than 20 hours/week Over 75% are working more than 20 hours/ week
Why raise the minimum wage?
$14.03 Cost of living in MN Today’s minimum wage worth less Source: Economic Policy Institute, 2013.
THE NEW LOW-WAGE ECONOMY Who benefits from low wages?
Top five low-wage industries Industry Percent low-wage 1.Food services57.4 2.Accommodation40.0 3.Retail trade36.5 4.Arts, entertainment & recreation34.2 5.Administrative services33.2 Source: National Employment Law Project
Source: NELP Analysis of Current Population Survey (2009-2011). Low-wage employers are large. Share of workforce that is low-wage, by firm size
Source: NELP, Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage, July 2012 Low-wage employers are profitable. In 2012, among the 50 largest low-wage employers: 92% were profitable in the previous year 78% were profitable for the previous 3 years 63% are earning higher profits now than before the recession
($7.69 to $13.83) ($13.84 to $21.13) ($21.14 to $54.55) Low wage work is growing
The result? We grow further apart.
THE RAISE THE WAGE CAMPAIGN What can you do?
During the 2014 Legislative Session, the Raise the Wage coalition hopes to: 1.Raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50 per hour by 2015; 2.Index the minimum wage to inflation; 3.Stop tip penalty amendments; 4.Conform our state minimum wage law to federal standards.
Our Response Our Opponents This bill will kill jobs. It’s bad for the economy & small businesses. It will hurt minimum wage workers with higher prices & job loss. Studies show no impact on employment levels. $472 million in new spending per year is good for the economy. 360,000 workers, esp. women and people of color, will get a raise. 137,000 children in homes with higher income (1 in every 10 kids!)
What’s Happening Next Last year, the House and Senate passed two different versions of the bill ($9.50 and $7.75 respectively). The bills are now in conference committee. When the 2014 session starts Feb. 25 th, the conference committee will try to reach an agreement. Both the House and Senate will need to vote on the conference committee report.
The Raise the Wage Campaign We are a growing coalition of faith, labor, and non-profit organizations. Field. Communications. Lobbying. Outreach.
What Can YOU Do? Sign the petition or the organizational endorsement form. Organize others. Talk with elected officials. Tell your story to the press. Fill out the commitment form.