February 13, 2013
Washington, DC--The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds President Obama’s State of the Union proposal to increase the federal minimum wage. The proposal would give low wage workers a $1.75 an hour raise by increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour by the end of 2015 and index it to the rate of inflation, for the first time in history.
“After watching millions of families with two children struggle below the federal poverty line, it is gratifying to have the President address the economic realities faced of low wage workers,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL. “NCL agrees with the President that anyone who works full-time shouldn’t be living in poverty in this, the richest nation in the world.”
NCL also applauds the President’s call for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that ensures men and women receive equal pay for equal work. The bill would require employers to demonstrate that any difference in salary between male and female workers doing the same job are not gender related, and protect workers from retaliation when sharing salary information with co-workers.
In order for a woman to prove that she’s been the victim of pay discrimination, she needs to be able to have access to co-worker salary information without employer retaliation. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help close the $10,784 annual wage gap between men and women in the U.S.
“Earning $10,784 less a year due to gender inequality is not just a matter of injustice and inequality, it’s also about economic stability,” said Michell K. McIntyre, Project Director of NCL’s Special Project on Wage Theft. “We will work diligently with the President, Congress and our civil rights and union allies to see this measure enacted."
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.