09.01.14

Congresswoman Lee Marks Labor Day

Oakland, CA - Congresswoman Lee offered the following statement marking the Labor Day holiday:

"Today, American workers are the most productive labor force in world history. Yet despite phenomenal advances in manufacturing, technology and efficiency, wages have remained stagnant.

In many communities, discrimination and institutional barriers have kept many workers from fully realizing the American Dream.

Women and communities of color still face significant hurdles.

Today, women earn only 77 cents for every dollars paid to white men. The situation for women of color is even worse: on average, women of color earn only 64 cents for every dollar a white man makes. In addition to wage inequality, women comprise nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners. The minimum wage is far too low: it's a bare minimum, not a real wage on which families can live.

Communities of color also face higher rates of unemployment and fewer opportunities for economic mobility.

It is time we raise the minimum wage and work towards a living wage,  extend unemployment insurance for the millions of Americans looking for work and ensure equal pay for equal work.

This Labor Day, Congress should remember that workers are the foundation of our economy. If we want a strong economy, we must invest in American workers and create pathways into the middle class for all."

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Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter at @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov.

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, as well as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the CPC Peace and Security Task Force.