DETROIT, Mich., Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds who attended a town Hall meeting Thursday, August 16, 2012 put on by Congressman John Conyers, D-Detroit and the activist group, Good Jobs Now, said that his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage is important to them being able to take care of a family.
At an hour-long session held at 2604 Fourth Street, individual after individual complained that the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour, as well as Michigan's minimum wage, which has risen to $7.40 from $5.15 since 2006, does not allow a family to make ends meet.
Mozee Williams, a 66-year-old Vietnam Veteran who recently relocated to Michigan, said his generation is struggling. "There are a lot of us Baby Boomers who are displaced, we have a home here, but we need some help too," he said.
Conyers, who was joined on stage by SEIU Healthcare Michigan President Marge Robinson- Faville, supports a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage by 2014 to $9.80 an hour. The increase would affect more than 600,000 people in Michigan and more than 28 million nationally, according to a study released this week by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI).
"What we're doing here tonight is resolving that we're going to turn this thing around," Conyers said.
Faville noted that Michigan's $7.40 wage was in part the result of her union's activism in 2005 on behalf of home health care workers, who while tending to others, could barely take care of themselves because of low wages and a lack of health insurance.
"Nine-eighty is barely enough to keep your head above water," said Kimland Terry of Detroit. "But at least with $9.80, you don't have to choose between medication and food."
Good Jobs Now has released data which shows that at the same time that low wage workers are earning $7.25 an hour; CEO pay has risen 725 percent in the last 30 years. Similarly, the cost of living has risen over the last 20 years, but workers' wages have remained far behind.
Launched in April, 2011, Good Jobs Now is a broad coalition of community groups, faith leaders, concerned citizens and the labor sector committed to holding decision-makers and elected officials accountable for the lack of jobs, and to help find solutions.www.goodjobsnow.org.
SOURCE Good Jobs Now