What is the Living Wage?
The Living Wage movement is made up of nearly two dozen U.S. cities and counties which have set wage and benefit standards for low-wage earning contract employees. Living Wage ordinances vary across the country in their adoption, nature, and requirements, but most require contractors which do business with city or county governments to pay the wage and/or benefit standards set forth. Most ordinances are passed by city councils or county board commissions, but some have been adopted through ballot initiative.
Where is the living wage practiced?
Living wage cities and counties include, Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; St. Paul, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit, Michigan; New Haven, Conneticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Duluth, Minnesota; Boston, Massachusetts; Jersey City, New Jersey; Oakland, California; Los Angeles, California; Cook County, Illinois; Multnomah County, Oregon; Somerville, Massuchusetts; West Hollywood, California; Orange County and Pasadena Counties; California; and San Jose, California.
Who started the living wage?
Most living wage campaigns nationwide make up a broad coalition of trade unionists, religious and community leaders, and other working professionals. People interested in organizing a living wage campaign often start by contacting local labor, faith, or community councils, as well as national groups listed below.
Resources on the Living Wage
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Public Policy Department/or Field Mobilizations
825 16th Street, N.W., Room 504
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 508-6967 fax
contact: Christine Silvia
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
739 8th Street S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 546-2483 fax
contact: Jen Kern
The New Party
227 West 40th St., Suite 1303
NY, NY 10018
contact: Adam Glickman
Also check out:
The San Jose Metro's profile of living wage leader, Amy Dean, who heads up the South Bay Labor Council;
Johns Hopkins University Living Wage Campaign homepage; and
New York Solidarity's Living Wage Campaign library.
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