Campaign to Pressure Bush Not to Veto Minimum Wage

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - A coalition of civil rights, religious, women's and other activist groups opened a campaign Tuesday designed to pressure President Bush to sign a minimum wage increase he has promised to veto.

``We believe that a veto of this desperately needed legislation would be a tragic step backward for millions of America's working people and their families,'' said Coretta Scott King, co-chairwoman of the Citizens Committee for a Just Minimum Wage.

``By the stroke of a pen, he could replace despair with hope in the lives of millions of our people,'' said co-chairman Arthur Flemming, who was secretary of health, education and welfare in the Eisenhower administration.

The group, including representatives of dozens of labor, religious, women's, community and political organizations, said the first salvo in its effort would be a 30-second radio ad chastising Bush for promising to veto the minimum-wage bill at a time he is advocating tax breaks for the wealthy.

``Something's wrong here,'' a narrator says in the ad. ``America should be a place where hard work pays off - for everyone. …