Submitted by the New York Society for Ethical Culture and Passed at the 99th AEU Assembly
Whereas, the federally-mandated minimum wage in the United States, $7.25 an hour, is an unlivable wage, and full-time low-wage employees are often forced to rely on public aid such as food stamps and public housing or shelters in order to survive.
Whereas, every business in America functions with the protection, infrastructure and economic and political security and stability provided by the country as a whole and paid for by our citizens through income and sales taxes as well as by the personal sacrifices made when our country is involved in armed conflict.
Whereas, U.S. businesses should not employ individuals in any way (i.e., “off the books”) without paying a minimum wage. It should be a standard cost of doing business.
Whereas, it is the function of government to determine and enforce minimum standards of compensation along with worker rights and protection, and thus efforts to influence legislation are appropriate citizen actions.
Whereas, the United States President proposes a nationally minimum wage of $10.10 – which is a beginning, though for many is not a true “living wage.”
Therefore It Is Resolved, the AEU support the President’s proposal for a minimum wage of $10.10 nationally with the President’s included inflation increases, and announce this support with publicity signed by the AEU Executive Director.
And it is further resolved, members of the Ethical Culture Societies of each state be requested to join together to study and support an effort for an achievable state-mandated minimum wage (possibly more than $10.10)—and that the Societies either work together or individually to achieve the passage of state minimum-wage bills through educational sessions, partnership with non-profit organizations concerned with wage issues (such as United for a Fair Economy), public-awareness publicity, and political-presence activities such as petitions, letter-writing, or organizing and participating in rallies and other actions. It is urged that the annual setting of minimum wage plus inflation-increase be included in the goals per state. Note that Connecticut has just passed a $10.10 minimum wage. San Francisco has a city minimum wage of $10.55. Santa Fe’s is $10.66.