Advocacy for $15 an Hour

As living costs continue to rise in New Jersey, people are working longer hours for less money just to get by. This is in part due to the fact that the past 40 years wages have not kept pace with inflation.

Something must be done. There is dignity in work no matter the task. It’s a means to provide for yourself and enrich your community. The dignity is in part signified by a living wage and benefits. Anything less is an insult. We must rectify this insult.

While changing federal law is difficult, we have an opportunity here in New Jersey to make progress on labor issues under Governor Murphy, Speaker Coughlin, and State Senate President Sweeney.

We need a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers.

Gov. Murphy ran on raising the minimum wage to $15 and the Speaker has stood with the Governor pledging to pass this into law.

However, the bill introduced waters down $15 an hour to the point of a joke.

Small businesses seem to have been excluded because it might be too onerous for them to pay their workers a respectable wage. Even if we accept their premise that they operate on small margins and cannot reduce executive pay to pay their workers a dignified wage, remember their customers will also be receiving a pay raise and thus will have more money to spend at small businesses.

Workers need a raise desperately to cover the cost of food, gas, clothing, shoes, medicine, and other home goods that small businesses provide.

Teenage workers have also been excluded. Many see teenagers as workers who only need that money for a few luxuries. But youth workers need that money to pay legitimate bills. They have no desire to be a burden and want to ease their family expenses. This is especially true in Hispanic families where their paychecks often go in part to sustaining the family. Youth workers must not be treated as second-class citizens.

Such an exemption from would also likely lead to massive discrimination against older workers by employers seeking to bypass the law. This is already a serious issue in some instances that would be worsened by this bill.

This bill also excludes farmworkers. These men and women who perform the most arduous duties also should receive a higher wage. Why should they be left out? Leaving out a class of workers made up overwhelmingly by people of color is an act of blatant racism.

How are we to call ourselves the Garden State if we do not fairly compensate those who make it so?

For those who feel that blue-collar workers shouldn’t make the same money as white-collar workers, remember a rising tide lifts all boats. Thus, someone making $15 an hour when the minimum wage is near $9 an hour will be making more when the minimum wage is $15 an hour.

Working men and women cannot afford to wait for a raise. They have been waiting long enough while being exploited and deals are made to benefit those who don’t need extra protection.

I urge you to contact your legislator immediately to make your voice heard that this bill is too weak.

PS:

Can you contribute $25 to help us launch our organizing effort?

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/awa#

Thank you.

In solidarity,

Dan

Daniel L. Ulloa
President
American Workforce Association

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Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day more in the spirit of Thanksgiving than Black Friday where we recognize the great work charities do.

(Of course, many people wouldn’t be so eager for deals if their bosses were more thankful for their labor and properly compensated them.)

This Giving Tuesday, I would like you to consider donating to AWA.

The economy might be booming at the top but wages are stagnant for most people. Despite the Trump tax cuts that were supposed to create jobs, many of the biggest beneficiaries have cut thousands of workers.

These mega-corporations have no interest in helping their workers who are divided and often forced to accept whatever they are given.  This leads workers to struggle endlessly just to make ends meet.

That’s where we come in. We have resolved to address employee misclassification where Independent Contractors or 1099 workers do not receive the benefits they should earn with their labor.

We seek to organize these workers who have nowhere else to go.

Can you contribute $25 to help us launch our organizing effort?

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/awa#

Thank you.

In solidarity,

Dan

Daniel L. Ulloa
President
American Workforce Association

Please follow and like us:

15 an Hour

I trust you are well. We will not be holding an October meeting. Our next meeting will be in November as it is a busy time for many.

We need to build popular support for a strong bill for $15 an hour that helps all workers to counter opposition that seeks to weaken the bill by denying a raise to all those who struggle.

While unemployment has dropped, prosperity remains uneven due to wage stagnation.

Countless New Jerseyans need this bill. More adults than teenagers occupy jobs that earn less than $15 an hour.

Below is a message from our ally NJ Working Families urging we contact our legislators tomorrow to urge that they support a $15 an hour minimum wage bill recently introduced into the legislature.

44288164_10104889884953206_8246284225603436544_nAbove, another picture from the Labor Day parade.

43622219_10104878893889386_4278695949838057472_n.jpgBelow, a picture from a press conference in New Brunswick featuring its Mayor Jim Cahill and Mayor Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy.


According to a recent United Way ALICE Report, 2 of every 5 NJ families struggles to meet their basic needs. This is an increase in years past, despite decreases in unemployment rates and a stock market boom. New Jersey is on track to join three states and Washington D.C. to enact a statewide $15 minimum wage, which can directly stabilize over 1 Million New Jersey workers and their families. This can be a pivotal move in boosting our state’s economy and the economic security of workers, but can only do so if it applies to ALL New Jersey working families.

I’m asking you to help build support for A-4687 which gradually increases the states minimum wage to $15 for ALL workers. Our state cannot afford to leave any workers behind. Take action by emailing and calling your legislator today! Help urge legislators to live up to their commitment to New Jersey working families and pass a bill that provides a path to a $15 minimum wage for all workers, regardless of industry, geography and without age restrictions.

 

Take care,

Dan

Daniel L. Ulloa
President
American Workforce Association

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