Blind People in Michigan to Protest Goodwill's Payment of Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities

Sep 06, 2012, 16:32 ET from National Federation of the Blind

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, September 8, blind members of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will participate in a protest outside of Goodwill Industries in Dearborn. The informational protest will raise awareness of Goodwill's practice of paying subminimum wages to many of its workers with disabilities.  Freedom of information requests filed by the NFB confirmed that Goodwill Industries employees with disabilities have been paid as low as $0.22 an hour.  The National Federation of the Blind and nearly fifty other organizations of people with disabilities support legislation, the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act (H.R. 3086), which would phase out and then repeal the nearly seventy-five-year-old provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act that permits special certificate holders to pay subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.


Date: September 8, 2012

Time: 11:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.

Place: Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
           22451 Michigan Ave
           Dearborn, MI 48124

"There are five Goodwill affiliates in Michigan that possess special wage certificates that allow them to pay workers with disabilities subminimum wages," said Larry Posont, President of the NFB of Michigan.  "We are simply informing members of the public that their donations and patronage support an international organization that condones the payment of subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.  We believe they will agree that if Goodwill is able to open upscale retail establishments under the guise of doing good work for people with disabilities, then it should be able to compensate its workers with disabilities at the federal minimum wage, or more."

The National Federation of the Blind has already conducted over ninety coordinated nationwide protests in front of thrift stores operated by Goodwill Industries International, Inc., throughout the country to increase the public's awareness of this issue.  For more information, please visit

About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind. 

SOURCE National Federation of the Blind