By Tom Cordaro
On March 6, in advance of International Women’s Day, seven women religious leaders from Chicago and the Western Suburbs gathered in Naperville, Ill. to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The event was held in conjunction with press events around the country organized by Interfaith Worker Justice.
Sr. Karen Nykiel, OSB, moderated the event. Sr. Karen is a member of Pax Christi Illinois, the national Catholic peace movement. Sr. Karen set the context of the event saying, “We are focusing on women at this event because more than 64 percent—almost two-thirds—minimum wage workers are women.”
She added that it was no coincidence the event was held in a wealthy suburban city like Naperville, “Raising the minimum wage is not only an issue of importance in poor urban or rural communities in our nation. It is an important issue in communities like Naperville. Census figures show that poverty is growing at a faster rate in the suburbs then it is in urban areas. “
The Rev. Elizabeth Bowes from the Glen Ellyn First United Methodist Church, began with a short history of the struggle to create the minimum wage in 1938 and how religious leaders from all faiths were united in that struggle. What these faith leaders had in common was that “they valued human dignity and thus desired to create a labor system that valued workers and treated them with fairness and respect.”
To illustrate how much value the minimum wage has lost over the years the Rev. Bowes said, “In 1968 when the minimum wages was $1.60 an hour you and your family of four could purchase an entire fast-food meal for one hour of work. Today at $7.25 an hour, one hour of work can only buy one person a burrito at Chipotle or three cups of coffee from Starbuck’s.”
Sr. Kathleen Desautels, SP, from the 8th Day Center for Justice said St. Mother Theodore Guerin, who founded Sr. Kathleen's community, had a strong commitment to raising the status of women in America. As Mother Guerin once stated, “Women in this country are only one fourth of the family. I hope, through the influence of religion and education that she will eventually become one half—better half.”
Kathleen pointed out that “nearly 175 years latter women still only earn 77 percent of what men earn for same work.”
Working towards a Living Wage
As important as it is to raise the minimum wage, Sr. Kathleen reminded everyone, “The minimum wage is only a start, what we need is living wage. That is why the 8th Day Center for Justice has been involved in the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Chicago to $15 per hour. Do we need an increase in the minimum wage? Absolutely! But let’s not stop there. Let’s continue the struggle for a living wage for every worker. ”
The Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, pastor of the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church spoke about her own experience with helping those who work minimum wage jobs. “The church tries to help, but the needs far outweigh the resources available. We should not treat human beings this way. This is not in line with America’s concept of fairness.”
Drawing from her own personal story Rev. Belcher stated, “After World War II my family survived on benefits from the GI Bill my father received. These benefits allowed my family to enter the middle class and gave us the opportunity to get a college education. Everyone deserves the same kind of opportunity to succeed.”
"Do we need an increase in the minimum wage? Absolutely! But let’s not stop there. Let’s continue the struggle for a living wage for every worker. ”
Sr. Mary Kay Flanagan, OSF, also of 8th Day Center, made the connection between raising the minimum wage and the works of mercy, “To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to care for the sick and to bury the dead; all of these needs are the consequence of the lack of economic security in the lives of our brothers and sisters. Providing people with a living wage is a way to fulfill the works of mercy.”
The Rev. Lisa Telomen, from Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville also made the link between the struggle for raising the minimum wage and her Christian faith, “Looking at the life and teachings of Jesus it is clear that insuring that every person has enough to eat, that they have adequate shelter and clothing and that they have access to affordable health care is part of what it means to be a disciple.”
Sr. Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF from 8th Day Center spoke about volunteering at a homeless shelter for women, “I was shocked to learn that part of my responsibilities was to wake some women up earlier so they could get ready for work. Their minimum wage jobs did not enable them to afford rent at any level. For most apartments you need first and last month’s rent as well as the regular rent payment. Let’s not forget utilities, food and clothes.”
Income Inequality is Real
Sister Dorothy also spoke about the grotesque salaries paid to many CEOs, “There seems to be no outcry from Congress when CEOs get increases in their salaries. There seems to be no concern that the cost of these huge salaries will get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices or that these huge payouts will make it harder for companies to create more jobs.”
Dorothy took aim at Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) approach to welfare, “He says his ideas are in line with Catholic Social Teaching; but he is reading a very different version than I read. As Pope Francis stated, ‘While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.’”
The last speaker was 8th Day Center's Sr. Gwen Farry, BVM, who shared the different ways members of her community were working to increase the minimum wage in Springfield, Ill. and in Washington. Speaking to the value of raising the minimum wage Gwen told the crowd, “If the Gap can pay $10/hour to its employees why can’t others do the same? Even the Gap understands that raising the minimum wage is good for business. The fabulously wealthy do not create jobs; customers create jobs. The minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of consumers and that spending creates jobs.”
“No one working 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty,” Sr Gwen Farry said. If you agree, tell Congress it's time to raise the minimum wage!
Tom Cordaro is the Director of DuPage Interfaith Worker Justice and helped organize a press event in Naperville, Ill. on March 6 in coordination with interfaith groups all across the country supporting working women and raising the minimum wage for ALL workers.
This week, Interfaith Worker Justice and our interfaith affiliates are celebrating International Women’s Day (this Saturday) by lifting up the struggles of all the hardworking women who make up nearly two-thirds of our nation's minimum wage earners.
Today in D.C., we joined U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), women religious leaders from across faith traditions and working women to remind Congress that the federal minimum wage is woefully low and creating an immoral reality for women across all 50 states. We’re calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which would lift the wages of millions of American women!
“No one in America should have to live in poverty after putting in a full day’s work, and yet that is the case today,” Senator Boxer said. “The good news is that when we raise the minimum wage, it will lift the wages of 15 million women nationwide. When we lift the salaries of these workers, it helps their children and their families.”
Sr. Simone Campbell from NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby joined Kathy Salie, IWJ board member; Nancy Duff Campbell, National Women’s Law Center co-president; Nyah Potts, a tipped wage worker at the Aria restaurant in the Ronald Reagan federal building; and the Rev. Jen Butler, Faith in Public Life executive director, .
Sr. Simone reminded lawmakers that people of faith are united in supporting the push for a moral minimum wage, and $7.25 per hour simply doesn’t lift up the dignity of work. It’s time our elected officials fix it:
“Pope Francis said that a society that “does not pay a just wage, that does not give work” to people and that “only looks to its balanced books, that only seeks profit” is unjust. He says the role of government is to respond to people’s needs and ensure the common good.
"In our nation, it is unjust that highly profitable companies pay poverty level wages to workers who create the wealth for those at the top yet cannot afford even the basic necessities of life. Therefore, our Christian faith demands that government protect workers, raise the minimum wage thus allowing workers to live in dignity, and promote the common good.”
Today President Barack Obama took the message of a fair minimum wage to Connecticut where he once again urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Minimum Wage is Definitely a Women’s Issue
The facts don’t lie. One in five working women would see a raise if Congress acted to pass legislation, and more than 17 million children would have a parent get a raise under the proposed bill. Working families deserve a fair and just wage with which they can provide for their children and loved ones.
“The minimum wage is a critical women's issue. Women are two-thirds of workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Senator Harkin's proposed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 would give over 15 million women a raise, including almost five million working moms,” said Nancy Duff Campbell.
Celebrate International Women’s Day this year by contacting your legislator and urging them to stand with working families and support the Fair Minimum Wage Act! Click here to take action.
This month, West Virginia state lawmakers in the House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly (89-5) to increase the state's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $8.00 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and then to $8.75 the following year. If the legislation becomes state law, more than 100,000 workers in West Virginia would see their paychecks increase and have more money in their pockets to spend on goods and services for them and their families. Now the measure is sitting in the State Senate waiting on a vote, according to the Charleston Gazette.
"We're going to help about 100,000 West Virginia families who are going to have more expendable income," said Delegate Mike Caputo, (D-Marion). "There are so many families who live paycheck to paycheck on the minimum wage."
(He) added that he regrets it takes an act of legislation to make sure employers are paying their employees a fair wage. The bill will affect more than 100,000 West Virginians who are currently earning minimum wage, he said to the Washington Times.
Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, noted that minimum wage workers represent a diverse demographic. “We have to stop qualifying or classifying who minimum wage workers are based on age or education. People are on minimum wage and should be paid a fair wage,” she said to the Washington Times. The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy reports that actually a majority of the beneficiaries of a minimum wage increase are adult, full-time workers who are supporting their families in moderate- to low-income households in West Virginia. Organizers with IWJ are working with the Center and the West Virginia Council of Churches to pressure the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Delegates and send the bill to the governor's desk.
The legislative session is set to end on March 8.
State senators must stand with working people and raise the minimum wage in West Virginia and index it to inflation. Lobbyists from fast-food corporations like McDonald's and state hospitality industry groups are working hard to convince lawmakers that they cannot afford an increase and that a raise would be bad for families and the economy. We know—and studies show— that these "bad for the economy" assertions are just not true. It's the workers who cannot afford NOT to get a raise.
As people of faith from diverse traditions, we share a common conviction that the dignity of work and the security of the family are intrinsic moral values. In response to our Scripture’s repeated admonitions against exploiting and oppressing workers, we believe that every job must enable those who work to support a family.
We respect the dignity of our neighbors who toil under the yoke of today's unjust minimum wage, and we call on state senators to help ease their burden by making the minimum wage a family wage and passing SB 411 raising it to $8.25 per hour and indexing it to inflation so it won't be eroded by the rising cost of living.
Can you tell state senators in West Virginia that as a person of faith you support raising the state minimum wage, and urge them to quickly remedy an injustice to minimum wage workers in West Virginia?
It was inspiring, being in front of a group of 24 true worker-leaders and advocates last weekend. I witnessed their leadership, enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, teach and share. Every moment at the eight-hour training was an opportunity to learn and teach for of us in the room.
The new group of health and safety trainers in Northwest Arkansas was diverse in more ways than one. Latino, Marshallese and white workers from many industries including poultry and meatpacking, food processing, candle making, recycling, sanitation, construction and landscaping. And, of course, staunch worker rights advocates joined us.
Only six Latino workers of the 24 participants last weekend said they had received safety training from their employers, adding that it was presented only in English. With this new group of trainers, the worker center will be able to complete a statewide survey about the poultry industry and will reach out to worker for trainings in the languages they understand.
Following a popular education approach, workers and staff joined the training session. IWJ’s new national organizer, Janel Bailey, said she was fascinated with the active participation at the training. When we could hear the cacophony of many workers all talking at once during the small group activities, speaking of their own experiences, preparing short presentations, or asking questions, Janel referred to it as the “sound of popular education.”
I say it was inspiring because it reaffirms that in spite of the “right-to-work” (for less) law in Arkansas, and the many large corporations that call the state home, workers know there is hope for change when there is worker power. The Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center and its staff are committed to improving the leadership of members, and improving the working conditions of all workers.
At the end of the training when workers were receiving their certificates, a reporter from the local Univision station came to take pictures of the training. These trainings are important events for the local community, and are important for all those workers learning how to become peer- trainers for their co-workers.
The following is a cross post from the Department of Labor's blog, (Work in Progress), about last week's visit by IWJ's Policy Director, the Rev. Michael Livingston, and other national faith leaders to discuss the moral imperative to raise the federal minimum wage in 2014.
By Tom Perez, Secretary of Labor
The groundswell of support for increasing the federal minimum wage is formidable.
Workers support it because they need a raise. Forward-looking businesses support it because they know it’s part of a sound business model. And the faith community is also a part of this diverse and growing coalition, lending its considerable influence to the debate.
This afternoon, I met with a group of religious leaders who are coming together to raise up the moral imperative of rewarding hard work with a fair wage. This is simply the right thing to do, and no one can make that case better than men and women who have made faith their life’s work.
We had Christians, Jews and Muslims in the room. But although they preach from different holy books, they are united in a belief in social and economic justice, in the idea of human dignity and making sure everyone has a fair shot.
Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK and one of the famous “Nuns on the Bus,” was there. She talked about the minimum wage in terms of universal values, as “a justice issue for everyone in the nation.” For the minimum wage to be a poverty wage and for the nation to experience vast income inequality is “hurtful to the 100 percent,” she explained.
The group around the table today represents millions of people. And they are not just spreading the word among their own followers; they are working together through interfaith partnerships to build a collaborative whole greater than the sum of their parts.
My faith has informed my values on this issue and so many others. Growing up in a religious home and receiving a Catholic education, I learned from an early age that we must do everything possible to embrace and empower the least among us.
It leads me to only one conclusion: hardworking America deserves a raise. And I’m eager to work with everyone – no matter to whom they pray and even if they are not believers at all – to make it happen.
As people of faith, we echo the moral necessity to raise the federal minimum wage to one that honors the dignity of work and allows all who are able to work to earn a living and provide for their loved ones. We believe that when workers are paid a living family wage that adequately compensates them for their work, their human dignity is uplifted and respected. All workers deserve such human dignity.
This has been a good week for workers. With the signing of the Executive Order requiring companies that do business with the federal government to pay their workers a minimum of $10.10 an hour, the President has set an moral standard that congress and the larger business community would do well to meet. For faith leaders this is holy ground, we celebrate every victory that recognizes the dignity of work and the humanity and rights of workers. Secretary Perez your invitation for this conversation on the minimum wage is a welcome demonstration of your commitment to good jobs, fair compensation, the value of work and workers in God’s economy.
So, a word about the work of Interfaith Worker Justice on the Minimum Wage. Federally, we’re active in the National Employment Law Project's convened coalition to get congress to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Bill. We’re active partners with the more than 100 coalition members participating in strategy and the Hill work to strengthen support in Congress. Co-sponsors in the House are up to 185 and 33 in the Senate. In key states around the country, we’re leading in work to organize the faith community for support of state and local measures, both legislative and where ballot initiatives are underway.
We’re working Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Southern California. In Alaska and South Dakota, where there are ballot initiatives and little involvement of the faith community, we’re working with secular partners that are eager to expand support for passage of measures that polls show have strong community support. On March 6, in recognition of the International Day of Women, a national event will headline state and local events with leadership from women of faith in the states I’ve mentioned.
But there is more to do!
As I close, thank you for greeting workers in the White House before the signing of the Executive Order Wednesday. It was an exciting moment for them. I say this because it’s ironic that the workers who risked the most by repeatedly striking to make that day happen are least likely to benefit from it—since the order applies to new contracts and not existing contracts. There is so much more that needs to be done to protect workers, and to enforce the order.
I also have to take this opportunity to encourage the Department of Labor to resurrect work on a Worker’s Right to Know regulation to require employers to give employees a clear paystub so they know what they’re being paid for, hours they’ve worked, and what deductions are taken from their pay. Thank you Secretary Perez.
Today IWJ's National Policy Director, the Rev. Michael Livingston, sat with Labor Secretary Tom Perez. They were joined by national faith leaders including Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK; the Rev. David Beckman, Bread for the World; Mr. Jim Winkler, general secretary and president of the National Council of Churches; Naim Baig, President of Islamic Circle of North America, Rabbi Michael Namath, Religious Action Center of a Reformed Judaism, former Congresswoman the Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, who founded the Skinner Leadership Institute; and the Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, of the 19th Street Baptist Church in Washington DC.
The following is an Op-Ed that first appeared in the Religion News Service yesterday in response to the President's Executive Order assuring more than 2 million federally-contracted workers are paid a living wage.
By the Rev. Michael Livingston and Sr. Simone Campbell
Many of us believe skyrocketing income inequality is the most important economic, political and moral issue confronting our nation. Everyone from members of Congress to Pope Francis has called for action — and now our president is leading by example.
Unfortunately, many conservative commentators are criticizing the president’s action. They claim he is overstepping his legal authority and even violating his constitutional powers.
What these naysayers fail to recognize is that previous presidents have invoked their executive powers to open the doors of economic opportunity for people struggling at the margins. When the country was being torn apart by racial inequality, President Lyndon Johnson issued an executive order to bar discrimination by federal contractors. In this moment when our national unity is being threatened by income inequality, President Obama’s executive order mandating contractors to pay a higher minimum wage follows the legal precedent established by Johnson.
But while the legal justification for presidential action against racial and economic injustice is strong, the moral justification is even stronger.
During the civil rights era, Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that there is a higher moral law of justice that people of conscience must follow. Today, Pope Francis reminds us that “money must serve, not rule” and that a moral economic system should “set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential.”
Ultimately, our faith compels us to be in solidarity with people who suffer at the margins of our economy. The Christian Scriptures say that we will be judged for what we have done for those in poverty.
Using this moral standard, Obama’s executive order is more than justified; it is required.
We know this because we have marched with these workers as they went on strike as part of the Good Jobs Nation campaign, and we brought a group of these workers to meet with senior White House officials on several occasions. One of these workers was Robyn Law, a fast-food worker in the Pentagon, who went on strike because she struggles to support her disabled mother and young child on a salary of $8.75 an hour. Another worker was Melissa Roseboro, a grandmother who earns $8.43 an hour and relies on food stamps to put food on the table because she makes so little at her job at the McDonald’s inside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
We commend the president for his compassionate response to the needs of Robyn, Melissa and their co-workers.
By using the power of his pen to lift the minimum wage for federally contracted workers, Obama is affirming the dignity and worth of all working people. As the CEO of the federal government, he is also sending a powerful message to the CEOs of private corporations that they too must honor their workers with just wages. Let’s pray that these CEOs, as well as our Congress, follow the president’s example.
Still more need to be done. As people of faith, we must continue our efforts to make sure the government uses its contracting clout to ensure corporations pay workers living wages and benefits, follow labor laws and give workers a seat at the table so they don’t have to go on strike to have their voices heard.
Thank you, Mr. President, for taking an important first step in this direction and for leading us toward a more moral economy.
The following is a cross-post from Faith in Public Life's the Rev. Jen Butler.
Last fall I had the honor of praying in front of the White House with federal contract workers affiliated with Good Jobs Nation who were striking for a living wage. After a strong campaign of similar demonstrations, President Obama confirmed last night that he got the message.
In his State of the Union address, the president said he would require that all government contract workers be paid at least $10.10, and he reiterated the need for all American workers to paid at least that much.
The economic case for raising the minimum wage is strong, and the moral case is even stronger. Scripture is replete with condemnations of oppressing workers, and make no mistake, paying someone who works full time a wage that can’t cover a family’s basic necessities is oppressive.
The core values question here is whether we accept the notion that some workers must be destined for poverty in order for our economy to function well. The clear answer is no. As Pope Francis said, “Money must serve, not rule!”
Increasing the minimum wage faces fierce opposition among Tea Party extremists in Congress — even though the vast majority of Americans favor raising it.
So it’s inspiring to see faith leaders from in states across the country calling for a minimum wage that’s a family wage. Faith in Public Life is humbled to be working side by side with clergy leaders and groups like Interfaith Worker Justice and PICO National Network to help raise a clear moral voice for just wages that strengthen family bonds.
In 1968, the federal minimum wage was worth the equivalent of more than $10 today. Getting it back to that level isn’t asking for a miracle, and it’s a crucial step toward building an economy that is truly pro-family.
Millions of workers are struggling to scrape by on minimum wage in today's economy. As people of faith, let's remind our elected officials that we believe in a just economy. Learn more about joining the campaign to raise the Federal Minimum Wage in 2014!
Last week, New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse documented business groups’ escalating efforts to discredit worker centers as “fronts” for organized labor. Led by the National Restaurant Association, these groups argue that worker centers are really unions in disguise and therefore should have to comply with the federal laws that regulate unions’ governance, financial reporting, and advocacy.
As Rutgers labor relations professor Janice R. Fine explains in the article, the idea perpetuated by big business that worker centers are the “offspring” of organized labor “is just plain wrong.” The notion that worker centers act as the agents of unions for the purpose of evading federal labor laws is debunked first and foremost by the “downright hostility” that has often existed between the labor and worker center movements.
In the last year, there has been much chatter among labor lawyers about what distinguishes worker centers from “labor organizations” as they are defined under federal labor law. (For a great introduction to this conversation, check out this post by OnLabor blogger Benjamin Sachs.) Though Greenhouse mentioned this in the article, it is worth repeating: despite the recent clamor by the NRA and others against worker centers like the Restaurant Opportunity Centers, the National Labor Relations Board stated quite clearly in a memo back in 2006 that ROC-NY does not qualify as a labor organization for the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.
And yet, big business groups and their lobbying organizations still insist that worker centers like the Restaurant Opportunities Center are “trying to have it both ways.” In the words of NRA’s executive vice president Scott DeFife, “they’re a union and not a union. They’re organizing workers but not organizing workers. They have a history of tactics unions couldn’t get away with.” By pushing for stricter oversight and regulations of worker centers and launching other smear campaigns like ROCexposed or Worker Center Watch, industry lobbyists like Richard Berman claim they are trying to prevent worker centers from “being a long-term problem.”
What these groups are not stating is that the “problem” they fear is not so much that worker centers are evading laws like the National Labor Relations Act, but rather breathing new life into the statute. Worker centers remind us that workers do not need to belong to a union for their collective activities to protected. Workers can, do, and will organize for fair and safe employment in the workplace, and the National Labor Relations Act was created protect workers when they do so.
As stated by ROC co-founder Saru Jayaraman, “the fact that they’re attacking us is a sign that they feel threatened. That’s what happens when you challenge the industry to do the right thing.”
Learn more about the amazing work that worker centers are doing for non-organized workers in your community and get involved in the work to strengthen worker protections. Interfaith Worker Justice's national network of worker centers are leading the work for better workplaces in communities across the country. Check out this map to find an IWJ worker center near you.
Today at Interfaith Worker Justice, we joined workers and worker advocates, including our brave friends from Good Jobs Nation, in celebrating President Obama’s plan to issue an Executive Order raising the minimum wage for millions of federally-contracted workers.
Earlier today, Demos reported on the anticipated announcement.
During tonight's State of the Union, President Obama will announce an Executive Order requiring government contractors to raise the minimum wage for their lowest-paid workers to $10.10. Federal contract workers organizing with Good Jobs Nation paved the way for this victory, and many stakeholders have supported the Americans working on behalf of the country for low pay.
Workers went on strike seven times in seven months at some of the government's most popular establishments including Union Station, the Pentagon and the Smithsonian Institute. More than 400 people of faith sent letters to President Obama supporting these workers and urging him to sign an Executive Order lifting more than two million government-contracted workers out of poverty wages and assuring the U.S. government will not condone poor working conditions or wage theft.
Raising the pay of federally-contracted workers who are currently making poverty wages is the right and moral thing to do. This decision is great for workers, their families and our economy. It sets a good standard for employers of low-wage workers around the country.
“This is a great achievement for us. What we’ve done is going somewhere. We’re moving forward and accomplishing something that means a lot to me, my family and my coworkers’ families," said Alexis Vasquez. “This campaign has really opened my eyes and given me hope to a better future.”
Alexis works at the McDonald's at the Air and Space Museum in D.C. He earns only $8.25 per hour is only scheduled to work one four-hour shift per week.
We are happy about the President’s decision, but we are mindful of the continuous struggles of federal contract workers – many of them are still vulnerable to exploitation from employers and retaliation for speaking up. While we celebrate this victory, we need to remember that this is only the beginning. We need to push Congress to raise the minimum wage for all workers and make sure corporations are held accountable for their role in the growing economic inequality that’s plaguing our nation.”
The Rev. Michael Livingston is IWJ's National Policy Director, and has worked closely with the brave federally-contracted workers in IWJ's Washington D.C. office supporting workers on strikes, joining them in walk-backs and mobilizing leaders from an interfaith community to support their brave witness to the injustice of an unfair wage, poor working conditions and rampant wage theft.