Monday, March 28, 2011

Working Toward a Fair Minimum Wage

Is $5.15 an hour enough to support a family? The GA Minimum Wage Coalition doesn’t believe it is. The state minimum wage in Georgia – which covers several specific industries - is just $5.15/hr, leaving thousands of hard working Georgians stranded in poverty even when they work full-time, year round. The Coalition believes that hard work deserves fair pay and that the current minimum wage must be raised.

Rev. Stephanie Hankins, faith-based organizer for the GA Minimum Wage Coalition, gave a presentation in January to group of Columbia Seminary students, urging them to use their voices as religious leaders to increase awareness of urgent social issues, including minimum wage. Vanessa Faraj, 9to5 chapter organizer, spoke about 9to5’s local Fair Eats campaign that focuses on raising the minimum wage for tipped workers here in Atlanta. The minimum wage for tipped workers is a staggering $2.13 an hour.
Atlanta 9to5 leader, Tonya Pinkston (pictured here), spoke about the reality of living off a minimum wage paycheck. Here are her words about the day:

“I had the pleasure to be present for a presentation on raising the minimum wage in the state of GA. The meeting consisted of eight seminary students, a few of the 9to5 members and myself. I spoke about my struggles trying to support my family on minimum wage. I am grateful for the experience because it showed me that someone cared to hear my voice. The students were very intrigued to hear the presentation. I feel very blessed to have been graced by their presence.”

(Originally posted 2/4/2011)

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