Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Labor Dishonored Congress Snubs U.S. Workers on the Minimum Wage

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Labor Dishonored Congress Snubs U.S. Workers on the Minimum Wage

Article excerpt

Today is Labor Day, which is set aside to honor the toil and skill of the American worker. More than a parade, more than a picnic, if there's one thing many American workers want today it's a raise.

CEOs and even average employees of profitable companies receive regular raises, as sure as January follows December. But higher pay is not in the cards for the 3.3 million U.S. workers who are paid the minimum wage.

The $7.25-an-hour pay rate has not changed since 2009. To have the same buying power, the wage should have grown to $8.05 by now. If the minimum had been adjusted for inflation over the past four decades, it would be more than $10 an hour today.

That's one reason Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama were pushing legislation several months ago to raise the minimum wage over two years to $10.10 an hour, then index it to inflation. But Republicans blocked consideration of the plan and now the proposal appears to be dead.

That's a shame for workers who make minimum wage, half of whom are between the ages of 25 and 65, and an embarrassment for the United States, which stacks up poorly in a minimum wage comparison with other developed nations. …

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