Americans honouring Labour Day when Wages are still putting someone below poverty level

English: This is a history of minimum wage inc...

This is a history of minimum wage increases under the 1938 act. This is current as of September 2009, with the inflation adjustment going to August 2009, the latest data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama last Saturday in honour of Labour Day reminded workers across the country to not take hard-won labour rights for granted while again calling on republicans in Congress to join with democrats to raise the federal minimum wage for millions of hard-working Americans.

In this week’s address, the President wished Americans a Happy Labour Day weekend, highlighted the important economic progress the Americans have made, and reaffirmed his commitment to accelerate their progress and ensure that their growing economy fuels a strong middle class. To do this, the President reiterated that Congress should do right by hard-working Americans across the country and raise the minimum wage and he praised the 13 states and Washington, DC as well as employers large and small who have heeded his call and taken action to provide their citizens and employees a fair wage. The President underscored that America built the world’s greatest middle class by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead – an economic patriotism worth remembering this Labour Day, and every day.


Minwage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past 53 months, the United States businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs.  Last month, for the first time since 1997, they created more than 200,000 jobs for six straight months.  And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders worldwide have declared, two years running, that the number one place to invest isn’t China – it’s America.

So there are reasons to be optimistic about where the North Americans are headed.  And the decisions they make now will determine whether or not they accelerate this progress – whether economic gains flow to a few at the top, or whether a growing economy fuels rising incomes and a thriving middle class.

Though those American citizens , like the people in West Europe may not be too positive and think they are out of the crisis. There is still a lot of work to be done and we do have to be very careful that the gap between the rich and poor does not become bigger, what we see which is happening at the moment. The last few years the middle class came closer to the borders of poverty. There is a very need to build a stronger middle class in today’s changing economy. The American president warns the people they still have got to keep fighting.

We’ve got to fight for the right to affordable health insurance for everybody.  The right to fair pay, family leave, and workplace flexibility.  The right to a fair living wage.

The president focused on that last one for a minute.

In America, no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.  And raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families.  It would help around 28 million Americans from all walks of life pay the bills, provide for their kids, and spend that money at local businesses.  And that grows the economy for everyone.

We as industrialised and economically thriving countries should not allow it that families should need two people to work full-time be able to survive just in the ‘marge’ of what we should consider poverty. Those countries which consider themselves civilized should give their citizens a reasonable income and should give everybody fair enough equal chances.

The American president is doing his best.

The bottom line is, America deserves a raise.  But until we’ve got a Congress that cares about raising working folks’ wages, it’s up to the rest of us to make it happen.  And in the year and a half since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, Americans of all walks of life are doing just that.

Thirteen states and D.C. have done their part by raising their minimum wages.  Four more states have minimum wage initiatives on the ballot this November.  And the states where the minimum wage has gone up this year have experienced higher job growth than the states that haven’t.

It also looks like the men or women in charge of big companies in the States are also willing to do their part.  There are some, but I would say not enough, which are raising base wages for tens of thousands of workers because they know it’s good for business. also cities are willing to show their good intentions and like mayor Emanuel in Chicago and mayor Garcetti in L.A. are working to lift their cities’ wages over time to at least thirteen dollars an hour.

I’ve tried to do my part by requiring companies that get contracts with the federal government to pay their workers a fair wage of ten dollars and ten cents an hour.

continued the president in his speech.

That there are people with good sense and ethics in the United States showed earlier this month, the president of Kentucky State University who set a great example by giving himself a $90,000 pay cut, so that he could give raises to his lowest-paid employees.

His sacrifice will give more of his workers and their families a little extra money to help make ends meet.

confirmed Barack Obama.

That’s how America built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  Not by making sure a fortunate few at the top are doing well, but by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead.  That’s the bedrock this country is built on.  Hard work.  Responsibility.  Sacrifice.  And looking out for one another as one united American family.

Leading up to the American Labour Day 2014, Secretary Tom Perez is traveling across the country to talk with Americans about how the American Government can help more people succeed in the workplace and at home.

Secretary Tom Perez​ of the U.S.A. Department of Labor writes:

This Labor Day, I’m thinking about Austraberta.

I had breakfast at Austraberta Rodriguez’s home in Houston two weeks ago. She’s worked as a janitor for more than 30 years, and for most of that time, her wages put her below the poverty level. Every cent she’s earned has gone toward providing the basics for her children and grandchildren. Today, she’s still earning the minimum wage — which, in Texas, is just $7.25 an hour.

Austraberta Rodriguez with her grandchildren

Minimum wages nationwide.

Minimum wages nationwide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Austraberta told me over breakfast that a national minimum wage increase would mean more bread for her family. She said a few more dollars an hour would be “incredible.” That raise wouldn’t just go toward making Austraberta’s life a little better. It would improve the odds for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren too.

Austraberta’s struggle is our struggle. On Labor Day, we celebrate all workers nationwide who contribute to our strength and prosperity. Because whether you made the burger or someone served it to you, whether you’re driving the bus or riding on it, whether you’re sweeping the floor or working in the clean office, you have a part to pla​y.

So today, if you’re ready for a country that does right by Austraberta and the nearly 28 million Americans who stand to benefit from a $10.10 minimum wage,then honor them by adding your name here.

A higher minimum wage doesn’t just help workers like Austraberta. It helps the businesses they work for too. It improves employee morale, productivity, and customer service. It reduces turnover, absenteeism, and training costs.

And besides, when working families have more money in their pockets, they pump it right back into their local economies. They spend it on goods and services where they live. And that helps the businesses providing those goods and services to grow. And that creates more jobs.

But it all starts with making good on that basic bargain: If you work hard and play by the rules, you shouldn’t have to raise your family in poverty.

The President is doing his part, with an Executive Order that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 for private-sector workers on federal contracts.

You can do your part, too — and there’s no action too small to show your support for folks likeAustraberta. Folks like LeDaya. Like Holley. Like Aaron.

Today, more than a century after its inception, we still haven’t identified the true “founder” of Labor Day, and maybe that’s fitting. Because today isn’t about one person. It’s about every American who’s working hard to get ahead — and it’s about the progress we can make when we work together.

You can do that right now by standing up and saying you’re ready to reward hard work with a fair wage for everyone.

Happy Labor Day. Let’s continue standing with our workers not just on the first Monday in September, but every day of the year.

– Tom

Secretary Tom Perez​
Department of Labor

Follow him along the way with live updates at


  • Obama’s Labor secretary embarks on cross-country junket to promote Labor Day (
    Perez’s “On the Road” initiative started in Los Angeles, where he met with LeDaya Epps, a construction worker. Epps got an apprenticeship in construction work, and is now a full-time apprentice working on a rail project.Labor employee Laura Miller blogged about the visit on Monday, and said the administration is already working to increase the number of registered apprenticeships over the next few years.Miller also wrote that Labor is working with the Department of Transportation to create transportation-related construction jobs, and is focused on creating “good jobs.”
  • Obama Labor Day message urges Congress to raise minimum wage (
    Attempting to work with Congress to pass a minimum wage increase has been a primary goal of the President in his second term in office. Across the country and in poll after poll, a large majority of Americans have indicated their support of a minimum wage increase. According to CNN in a June poll, even a majority of republicans support an increase in the minimum wage. However, in their strategy to deny the passage of any legislation supported by President Obama, the vast majority of republicans in Congress have blocked every attempt for such an increase to occur.
  • Jim Sinclair: Labour movement helps all British Columbians (

    It’s hard to remember a time when workers experienced little protection on the job and had few rights. That’s because today millions of workers in Canada — both those with a union and those without — reap the benefits of the battles won by the labour movement.

    The 40-hour week was first won at the bargaining table and then the government, under political pressure from the trade union movement, was forced to make it a law that covered all employees.

  • Gov’t sets wage increase for many of its workers (
    Many states have increased the minimum wage for state workers. As of June 1, 22 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”I meet with employers all the time who have raised wages for their workers because they know it reduces turnover, improves moral and boosts productivity,” Perez said. “In other words, paying a fair wage is the right thing to do and it’s the smart thing to do.”
  • Michigan hourly minimum wage rises to $8.15 on Labor Day (
    Michigan’s minimum wage rises 75 cents an hour to $8.15 on Labor Day.It’s scheduled to increase regularly over the next few years before topping out Jan. 1, 2018 at $9.25.That’s a little short of the $10.10 hourly national minimum wage Democratic President Barack Obama proposed earlier this year.

    But some question whether the increasing minimum wage is enough to lift people out of poverty or pay for basic costs of living.

    “For $8.15 a hour you can get a loaf of bread & a gallon of gas,” posted Ellen Reagor from Swartz Creek on the social media site Facebook. “So forget about paying your rent, mortgage or insurance if you want groceries.”

    some say higher minimum wages will increase unemployment and prices.

    “It means more at the bottom of the employment ladder will stay there or be kicked off,” said David Mortellaro from Grand Blanc, a vice president at Industrial Coatings. “Markets set wages not governments.”

  • Franchises could be next union battleground (
    Business groups say they’re gearing up to defend against what they believe to be the next front in the battle with organized labor: the franchise model used by McDonald’s and other iconic brands.The International Franchise Association says Labor Day demonstrations scheduled this week at restaurant chains in North Carolina — a Wendy’s in Greensboro and a Bojangles in Raleigh among them — are proof that labor unions see franchise workers as a key new target to expand their own membership.
  • Alaska is a model for job training says DOL leader (
    Holly Morales is director of the Employment and Training Services department there. She says CITC staff outlined to Perez the comprehensive range of services the agency offers to Alaska Native and American Indian people, helping with everything from bus passes and vouchers for clothing, to training for nurses and iron workers:“We have a system here where we’re able to consolidate certain funding from federal agencies that allow us to serve that participant with wraparound. Basically they walk in our door and we provide them with almost all the services they need within our capabilities. We may have to refer them out, but we try to provide they with everything they need to get the job that they want.”Morales says she welcomes a slight increase in job training funding at the start of the federal fiscal year in October:

    “There’s always room for opportunity for us to provide more training if we had more dollars. Only so much you can do when there’s such high demand. There’s always room for us to provide additional training.”

  • On Labor Day Weekend, Fox Host Says Minimum Wage Workers ‘Don’t Deserve’ A Raise (

    The Cavuto on Business show “honored” Labor Day weekend by smearing minimum wager workers and their efforts to raise the minimum wage. The segment began with footage of feisty (think: angry and scary) African American demonstrators. Host Neil Cavuto drove the point home in his introduction: “You think these guys are loud. Wait until Labor Day. The unions will be kicking up rage over the minimum wage.”

    Most of the panelists argued against raising the minimum wage, of course. Charles Gasparino argued it would hurt small businesses and lead to “less job creation.” Gerri Willis argued that the number of people earning minimum wage is so small, it’s not worth worrying about; the focus should be on job growth, instead. Panelist Ben Stein was the only one who said unequivocally the minimum wage should be raised.

  • Fox Continues Their Tradition Of Smearing Minimum Wage Workers On Labor Day Weekend (

    panelist and Fox Business host Charles Payne didn’t just argue against a minimum age raise, he smeared minimum wage workers as undeserving:

    This is another form of this classic welfare utopia, running out of money. And the only source that’s left is the corporate balance sheet. That’s the only place they can go to keep this ruse going, this “fair society” where you don’t have to improve your skills, you don’t have to become a better person, we’ll give you the money. We’ll make sure you get paid something that you don’t deserve.

    So says one of the prime examples and over-paid recipients of wingnut welfare over at Fox. Ben Stein made sure he chimed in with Payne and double downed on his assertion that anyone earning minimum wage is personally responsible for the company they work for being unwilling to pay them a higher wage.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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