FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: •Elisha St. Laurent, SJSU Class of ’14, CAFÉ J, (408) 438-8549, firstname.lastname@example.org
•Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, Professor, SJSU, (510) 508-5382, email@example.com
1st ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF $10 MINIMUM WAGE IN SAN JOSE
Leaders from Five Cities To Speak About “Raising the Wage”
SAN JOSE, CA – On Tuesday, March 11th at noon, the Campus Alliance for Economic Justice–the SJSU student group that developed and helped lead the Measure D campaign–will hold a press conference at the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statues to discuss the positive impact that the $2 minimum wage increase has brought to San Jose. In addition, leaders from five California cities will speak about why they are leading efforts to raise the city-wide minimum wage in their communities (see attached flier).
The positive impact of the $2 increase in the minimum wage has been profound:
•The 40,000 minimum wage workers in San Jose have pumped over $100 million into the local economy since the implementation of Measure D, helping to stimulate the economic growth of Silicon Valley; •This economic stimulus has helped decrease the unemployment rate since the passage of Measure D, which has dropped in the San Jose metro area from 7.6% in February, 2013 to 5.8% in December, 2013 (the last month available);*
•The City of San Jose reports that overall businesses growth is up 4.9% in San Jose, with 84,000 businesses registered at the start of 2014 in comparison to 75,000 in the previous year. In the leisure and hospitality industry, a sector that includes food services, there was a net increase of 4,000 jobs in San Jose in 2013 according to the California Employment Development Department; ** •The San Jose Downtown Association reports that businesses grew by 3% in the past year, with the retail sector, which includes restaurants, increasing to 19% of all downtown businesses, up from 15% in 2012; *** •Lastly, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of hours worked on average in 2013 in the San Jose metro area is nearly the exact amount as they were in 2012 (36.5 vs. 36.9 hours). ****
As a result of these positive results, the idea to “raise the wage” has spread to other California cities hoping to repeat what San Jose, as well as San Francisco, has accomplished. At the press conference, leaders from five cities (i.e., Berkeley, Davis, Eureka, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale) working to raise the minimum wage will speak about the conditions that caused them to put forward a city-wide minimum wage increase, and the current status of their campaigns. •11:30 am: Opportunity to speak to community leaders from five cities •12 pm: Press conference begins
* http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LAUMT064194000000003?data_tool=XGtable ** http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Reality-Check-Minimum-Wage-One-Year-Later-244821391.html; http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sjos$pds.pdf
shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-vh
mnemonic here: http://urlet.com/computerization.lettering
Uploaded on Feb 27, 2007
Throughout history, women and men in the labor movement have struggled to gain power in an economy that often seems to work against them, placing profit over people. For the past hundred years, the United States has seen great strides in workers’ rights, from the formation of unions, the eight-hour workday, child labor laws, and the creation of a minimum wage. Despite these gains, there exists a growing population of working poor, people who work full-time jobs, yet are unable to meet their most basic needs, including housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation. As traditional tactics and union influence become less effective, workers and advocates of workers’ rights are creating new and innovative strategies, which are being implemented in movements for a living wage.
Eureka’s Fair Wage Folks To Speak At San Jose State University
March 11th Marks The Year Anniversary Of San Jose’s Successful $10 Minimum Wage Measure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2014
Contact: James Decker (707) 761-5247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eureka, CA: Proponents of the Eureka Fair Wage Act, or Minimum Wage Ordinance (November 2014 City ballot), will speak at the 1-year anniversary of San Jose’s Measure D, which raised the minimum wage in the City of San Jose to $10 an hour. The anniversary press conference and celebration will be held on Tuesday March 11th at noon on the campus of San Jose State University at the Smith and Carlos Statue. The Fair Wage Folks will join speakers from the minimum wage movement in seven other California cities, talking about their local campaigns to raise wages. San Jose’s workers and economy have experienced positive impacts from Measure D’s higher minimum wage. The Fair Wage Folks are excited to be part of this historic California movement and invite local media outlets to document the March 11 event.
The Eureka Fair Wage Act is a people’s initiative, as was Measure D in San Jose, and will require employers with 25 or more workers in the Eureka city limits to pay a twelve dollar minimum wage.
Article on the history of San Jose’s student-led Measure D:
The public and press are welcome to contact The Fair Wage Folks (707) 442-7465 , email@example.com
and the San Jose Campus Alliance for Economic Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
Flier for March 11 anniversary event attached.
shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-fl
mnemonic link here: http://urlet.com/reset.several
“Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working every day? And they are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen, and it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech to Memphis Sanitation Workers a few days before his assassination.
“I honestly believe that with the $10 increase everyone is going to have happier workers, more productive workers and I believe it’s actually going to increase business in downtown San Jose.”
-Nick Taptelis, owner of Philz Coffee, a cafe that employs 25 minimum wage earners in downtown San Jose
“Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty.”
Costco Wholesale Corp. President and CEO Craig Jelinek
In his statement, Jelinek said Costco’s starting pay is $11.50 an hour in the United States.
“Linda Atkins and I are both running for Eureka City Council and we have proposed an ordinance raising Eureka’s minimum wage by $1.”
George Clark, LTE, Times-Standard, Oct. 23, 2008
“I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? It’s like “Hey if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.”
“When the spending power of working families goes up, so does morale, which leads to productivity boosts, lowers job turnover, all in an ongoing “virtuous cycle,” and everyone benefits.”
George Clark & Linda Atkins, campaign statement 2008
“Since the Earned Income Tax Credit lifts nearly 5 million Americans out of poverty each year, I’ll double the number of workers who receive it and triple the benefit for minimum wage workers. And I won’t wait another ten years to raise the minimum wage – I’ll guarantee that it keeps pace with inflation every single year so that it’s not just a minimum wage, but a living wage. Because that’s the change that working Americans need.”
President Barack Obama Obama’s Speech in Janesville, Wisconsin February 13, 2008
“…increased spending by Eureka’s workers creates more demand for products, helping businesses while creating more jobs in the process.”
George Clark & Linda Atkins, campaign statement 2008
“It is but equity…that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.”
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776
“Raising wages in Eureka, which are so far below the state average, is the right and fair thing to do for Eureka’s working families.”
George Clark & Linda Atkins, campaign statement 2008
“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country”
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something..”
“But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.”
“The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
“One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment. If it doesn’t turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.”
Franklin Roosevelt: Message to Congress on Establishing Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours
May 24, 1937
“Today, you and I are pledged to take further steps to reduce the lag in the purchasing power of industrial workers and to strengthen and stabilize the markets for the farmers’ products. The two go hand in hand. Each depends for its effectiveness upon the other. Both working simultaneously will open new outlets for productive capital. Our Nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied working men and women a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. A self-supporting and self-respecting democracy can plead no justification for the existence of child labor, no economic reason for chiseling workers’ wages or stretching workers’ hours. Enlightened business is learning that competition ought not to cause bad social consequences which inevitably react upon the profits of business itself. All but the hopelessly reactionary will agree that to conserve our primary resources of man power, government must have some control over maximum hours, minimum wages, the evil of child labor and the exploitation of unorganized labor.”
A Message from FDR about the Living Wage
After many requests on my part the Congress passed a Fair Labor Standards Act, what we call the Wages and Hours Bill. That Act –applying to products in interstate commerce — ends child labor, sets a floor below wages and a ceiling over hours of labor.
Except perhaps for the Social Security Act, it is the most far-reaching, the most far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted here or in any other country. Without question it starts us toward a better standard of living and increases purchasing power to buy the products of farm and factory.
Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000.00 a day, who has been turning his employees over to the Government relief rolls in order to preserve his company’s undistributed reserves, tell you — using his stockholders’ money to pay the postage for his personal opinions — tell you that a wage of $11.00 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry. Fortunately for business as a whole, and therefore for the Nation, that type of executive is a rarity with whom most business executives most heartily disagree.
Franklin Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat, June 24, 1938
It is said that we don’t need a minimum wage, that a minimum wage causes unemployment, that if the minimum wage were lower – or completely eliminated – then employers could afford to hire more workers. It is said often that this is “supply and demand” and an ironclad “law of economics.” It is of course an argument designed to appeal to the simpler minded half of the gene pool.
Yet two facts confront us.
One, the real purchasing power in constant dollar terms of the minimum wage has declined for 45 years, so there has been a de facto “lowering” of the minimum wage, and Two, we currently have a very persistent and high level of unemployment.
The laboratory of life has proved this favorite Chamber of Commerce meme to be a fabrication that is nowhere near real life economics.
We conclude that the theory that lowering the minimum wage increases employment is FALSE.
shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-la
In 1968 an hour’s pay at minimum wage ( $1.60) would buy almost 5 gallons of gasoline (@ $0.33/ gal.) but today in Eureka an hour’s minimum wage ($8.00) will buy a little less than 2 gallons of gasoline (@ $4.37 per gallon.)
If the minimum wage had been increased at the same rate as the price of gas, the minimum wage would be over $21.00 per hour today.
http://fairwages.org info @ fairwages.org
Marching on Walmart
Earlier on Thursday, miles away from the state Capitol, a group of single mothers marched in sub-zero temperatures to a Walmart store in Brooklyn Center. They called on the company to pay living wages to its employees and enact family-friendly policies to lift women and their children out of poverty.
Two out of three minimum wage workers are women, nearly four of 10 are women of color – and these women are disproportionately single mothers.
The demonstrators included Jacquita Berens, a single mother of three, who is a full-time student and works two full-time jobs. She is not a Walmart employee but has family and friends who work minimum wage jobs at the giant retailer.
On Wednesday, Target was in the spotlight for the low wages paid to the workers who clean its stores. Demonstrators marched through the downtown Minneapolis skyways and walked silently, fists raised, through the Nicollet Mall Target store.
“I am a single mother of five children trying to get by on the $8 an hour I am paid to clean a Target store,” said Maricela Flores. “It must be difficult for the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, to understand what it is like to be paid such low wages. In 2012 Mr. Steinheffel made over $9,900 an hour – he does not have to live the constant reality of choosing between paying rent, food, clothes, healthcare, etc.
“We are calling on Mr. Steinheffel to take the ‘Working America Minimum Wage Challenge’and live on $7.25 an hour for one week to understand what we face.”
This is a gentle reminder.
The Fair Wage Folks will meet tonight at the Labor Temple in Eureka, 9th and E at 6:15
You are invited. Bring a friend.
Our next Fair Wage Café is Mar. 22
We are in it to win it. It is 244 days until election day.
A People’s Initiative for a
$12.00 An Hour Minimum Wage for Large Employers