January 8, 2014
Current federal minimum wage is not a just wage
Workers’ wages must allow them to form and support families
Human dignity should be affirmed by the wages made by workers
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, in a letter today called on the US Senate to advance policies that promote decent work and just wages.
Noting that the current federal minimum wage fails “to provide sufficient resources for individuals to form and support families,” they conclude that it does not meet the standard for just wages as set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
They also point out that “A full-year, full-time worker making the minimum wage does not make enough money to raise a child free from poverty. Because the minimum wage is a static number and does not change, each year it becomes more difficult for workers making the minimum wage to survive. . . . Workers deserve a just wage that allows them to live in dignity, form and support families, and contribute to the common good.”
The letter recalls the sentiments of Pope Francis from last September, saying it is necessary “to remove centrality from the law of profit and gain, and to put the person and the common good back at the centre” of economic life.
The letter complements an op-ed that Archbishop Wenski wrote
in Monday’s Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. He points out the many struggles of low-wage workers and remarks, “Most distressing of it all is the loss of hope. Low-wage workers desperate for a fair shake are giving up hope of financial security.”
The letter can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/upload/joint-minimum-wage-letter-2014-01-08.pdf
Keywords: Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, Father Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities, Catechism of the Catholic Church, poverty, wages, minimum wage, Pope Francis, Sun Sentinel
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