Virginia Diamond Joins National Protest to Raise Minimum Wage
This Monday, we as Americans celebrated Labor Day. For some of us, Labor Day Monday is an extra day off of work; time to spend with friends and family at backyard barbeques or the beach. For many more Americans, it’s just another day at work in the fast food restaurant that pays them a minimum wage that can’t support them, let alone their families.
To put minimum wage in perspective, the official 2014 minimum wage by state in our area is as follows:
- Washington DC: $9.50 (with scheduled increases in 2015 and 2016)
- Maryland: $7.25 (with scheduled increases each year from 2015-2018)
- Virginia: $7.25 (no scheduled increases)
To see the current 2014 minimum wage in your state, click here.
In May of 2013, New Hampshire Labor News released a map of the U.S. showing how many hours would have to be worked to pay rent in each state. The results for our area are as follows:
- Washington DC 2013: Minimum wage was $8.25; Hours worked to pay rent: 88+ hours
- Maryland 2013: Minimum wage: $7.25; Hours worked to pay rent: 88+ hours
- Virginia 2013: Minimum wage: $7.25; Hours worked to pay rent: 88+ hour
Today, September 4, 2014, marks the day one of the largest organized protests will take place. Workers in 150 American cities will walk out of their jobs in fast food restaurants and take to the streets to exercise peaceful civil disobedience. Their requests are simple: raise minimum wage to a “living wage” and the right to unionize like so many other laborers in this country. Virginia Diamond, a well known labor attorney and activist, joins the workers today in Richmond. Representing the Southern Workers Organizing Committee, Ms. Diamond offers not only her legal expertise but her passionate belief in a living wage and a workers’ right to unionize.