WFVJ Launches statewide living wage campaign
At a time when economists, lawmakers, and the public are increasingly alarmed by the tremendous rise in income inequality; when wages are falling in relationship to inflation and productivity; and when funding for safety net programs such as food stamps are being slashed, it is imperative that faith communities partner with social justice activists, the labor community, and other stakeholders to build a long-term, state-wide campaign toward a living wage and fair working conditions that lift workers out of poverty into security.
The faith traditions represented by the members of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice all cry out for justice for workers. We believe that all people are made in the image of God and endowed with inherent worth and dignity. When our society allows people to live in poverty because we refuse to pay them adequately, we rob them of that dignity. It is unconscionable that in this, the richest country on earth, we have people living on food stamps and sleeping in homeless shelters even while working, sometimes at more than one job.
Our faith traditions teach us that it is our moral responsibility to care for the poor, the hungry, the homeless; that it is incumbent upon us to look after the widow, the orphan, the stranger in our midst. As a society, we can and should do that through social service programs such as food stamps and homeless shelters. There will always be a need for such services, and a moral society should provide them through both public and private resources. But the need for these services will be greatly lessened if we pay a fair wage to our workers that will lift them out of poverty and allow them to care for themselves and their families.
As a state, we need to work together to create policies that truly enable our working families to live in economic security. Those policies would include a true living wage, sufficient work hours to make that wage meaningful, paid sick leave and family leave, paid vacation, and access to affordable child care and health care, and access to public transportation. All Wisconsin working families should be able to live in dignity, secure in the knowledge that their honest labor will reap fair pay that will enable them to feed and house their families.
We believe that all people are made in the image of God and endowed with inherent worth and dignity.
The need for social service programs will be greatly lessened if we pay a fair wage to our workers that will lift them out of poverty and allow them to care for themselves and their families.
We need to work together to create policies that truly enable Wisconsin's working families to live in economic security.
Honest labor should reap fair pay that will enable workers to feed and house their families.