Open Letter to President Trump from Faith Leaders

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As people of faith, we believe that every person is a child of God and that there is inherent dignity in work. It is an affront to human dignity when hardworking men and women are unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor and must struggle simply to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves and their children. To add insult to injury, many working people in low-wage industries fall into deeper poverty and despair because of predatory practices such as wage theft, unsafe working conditions, and other abuses.

Sadly, by hiring contractors who do not pay working people a living wage the U.S. government continues to be America’s leading low-wage job creator. This is unjust and immoral. As people of faith – and as taxpayers – we believe that this can and must change.

As a candidate you spoke of creating “more jobs and better wages” for the American people, and as president we urge you to issue the “Model Employer Executive Order” and plant the seeds of a fairer, more just economy. We call on you to issue an executive order giving preference in government contracting to model employers who provide their workers a living wage, fair healthcare and retirement benefits, paid leave for sickness and caregiving, full-time hours and stable schedules, and a voice through collective bargaining so they do not need to strike to be heard.  

Moreover, we call on you to work with Congress to pass legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and to make it easier for working people in low-wage industries to organize unions and have a voice in our economy.  

All faith traditions advocate for justice, dignity, and respect for all working people. We believe that every human being is created in the image of the divine and should be empowered to fulfill their potential. By helping our nation’s most vulnerable working people achieve justice on the job, your legacy could be lifting millions out of poverty and secure a brighter future for all Americans.

This “Model Employer Executive Order” along with legislative action to promote “$15 and a Union” will provide a firm foundation for rebuilding a fair, equitable, and just society. Building that society and improving the plight of the working poor should be a top priority for all who care about our nation.

Sincerely,

Alliance of Baptists

BEND THE ARC Jewish Action

Disciples Center for Public Witness

Ecumenical Poverty Initiative

Franciscan Action Network

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Interfaith Worker Justice  

Islamic Relief USA

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepard

National Council of Churches

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Pax Christi USA

Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Association

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries