WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters stand with thousands of workers who rallied on Capitol Hill today and millions of hardworking Americans around the country who deserve the dignity and respect that earning $15 an hour would bring. These same workers should also have the ability to unionize so they can advocate for themselves going forward.
New legislation sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as well as Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) would set the federal minimum wage at $15 and goes a long way towards combating growing income inequality in the U.S. The Teamsters believe such a measure would bring fairness to the job marketplace.
"Workers just want to be able to earn a decent wage so they can keep a roof over their head and food on their tables," Teamster General President Jim Hoffa said. "This new measure by Sen. Sanders and Reps. Ellison and Grijalva would allow those who toil for a living to support their families. More lawmakers now need to focus their attention on everyday Americans instead of just their big business contributors."
Despite calls from the Teamsters, Good Jobs Nation and other advocates, Congress has not voted to raise the minimum wage since 2007. Instead, it has been left to states and localities around the U.S. to act on their own accord and address income inequality. Such actions have resulted in some jurisdictions like Los Angeles and Seattle raising the wage floor to $15 an hour, and New York State could soon join them. But all American workers should be entitled to such a salary.
"The economy depends on workers having money to spend," Hoffa said. "The current federal minimum wage doesn't provide it -- higher salaries and union jobs do. If this nation is union strong, America will be stronger. Let's get America working!"
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Galen Munroe, (202) 624-6911
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters