Congresswoman Barbara Lee Marks Labor Day with Call to Raise the Minimum Wage

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement in observance of Labor Day. 

“Our workforce is the most productive in world history. Yet despite constant innovation in manufacturing, technology and efficiency, millions of Americans remain locked out of the American dream.

“In communities across this nation, discrimination and institutional barriers are holding wages stagnant and restricting opportunity. Sadly, women and communities of color bear the brunt of these structural barriers preventing prosperity.

“Today, women earn only 77 percent of every dollar paid to white men. This disparity is even worse for women of color, with African American women earning 60 cents for every dollar a white man makes and Latinas earning a mere 54 cents on the dollar. And as income inequality balloons, far too many Americans are forced to live off of poverty wages that can’t meet their basic needs without assistance.

“American workers are the foundation of our economy – they should not be forced to live pay check to paycheck. It is past time for Congress to make strong investments in American families by creating good paying jobs, strengthening ladders of opportunity and raising the minimum wage to a livable standard. That is why this Labor Day, I stand with our union brothers and sisters in support of the Fight for $15 nationwide, because every American deserves the basic human dignity of earning a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. 

“As we pause to commemorate the triumphs of the labor movement this year, we must never forget the work that remains to give women, communities of color, and struggling families a shot at improving their basic living standards and accessing the American dream.”