Congressman Al Green Asserts July 24 Increase in Minimum Wage will Bring American Workers a Step Closer to the American Dream

Jul 21, 2007 Issues: Labor

(Houston, TX)--Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) joined ACORN and the Harris County AFL-CIO to highlight the positive impact the increase in minimum wage will have on Houstonians.  On July 24, 2007, millions of Americans will get a¬n increase in pay.  It has been 10 years since American workers have seen an increase in the federal minimum wage.  Nearly 13 million hard-working Americans and over 1.7 million Texans will benefit from raising the federal minimum wage by $2.10 – from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years.  On July 24, 2007, the minimum wage will raise to $5.85, one year later it will increase to $6.55, and one year after that it will increase to $7.25.
 
“Today, we have 37 million Americans living in poverty, separated from the opportunities of this country by their income, their housing, and their access to education, jobs and health care.  A full-time worker earning $5.15 an hour earns $10,712 a year, well below the 2005 federal poverty threshold of $13,461 for a family of two.  This means that a full-time minimum wage worker cannot support a single child above the poverty threshold,” Congressman Al Green said.  “The Fair Minimum Wage Act is a first step towards growing our economy and providing greater opportunity and prosperity for all Americans, not just the privileged few.

“The average American CEO earns more before lunchtime in one day than a minimum wage worker earns all year.  The inequality in this country is only getting worse. The difference between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is growing,” continued Congressman Al Green.  “The increase of $2.10 an hour will give families an additional $4,400 a year to meet critical needs.  That’s 15 months of groceries, over two years of health care, 19 months of utilities, or 20 months of child care. As a result of the nearly $4,400 a year increase in the minimum wage millions of hard working Americans can move closer to earning a decent day’s wages for a decent day’s work.”