To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Tell Congress: Don't Let Food Workers Go Hungry
Raising the minimum wage for the benefit of 29 million low-wage workers would only increase food costs at most by 10 cents a day for consumers.
As a consumer, I am willing to pay an extra dime a day for my food so that close to 8 million food system workers and 21 million additional low-wage workers can receive a much deserved raise to help them meet their basic needs.
I ask that you support the Miller-Harkin Fair Minimum Wage Act which would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10/hour over the next 3 years and the tipped minimum wage from $2.13 to 70% of the regular minimum wage.
Why is this important?
As a member of the Welcome Table, the food I eat is important to me. Part of a safe and sustainable food system is ensuring that the people that grow, harvest, process, transport, and prepare our food are treated fairly and with dignity. Worker rights are as important to me as organics and buying local.
According to a recent report released by the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, raising the minimum wage for the benefit of 29 million low-wage workers - including almost 8 million food workers - would only cost the average household about an additional 10 cents per day for food (see the report at www.rocunited.org/dime-a-day).
Almost one-third of food workers suffer food insecurity, meaning they are unable to access enough safe and nutritious food to meet their needs. Food workers rely on food stamps to meet their needs at 1.5 times the rate of the general workforce.
This has to change.
I have started this petition with the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, calling on Congress to increase the minimum wage (currently $7.25/hour and for workers who receive tips $2.13/hour). If you care about the people behind your food, please stand with me and urge Congress to support the Miller/Harkin Fair Minimum Wage Act. A dime a day is a small price that I am willing to pay so that 29 million workers can make ends meet!
P.S. Some of your reading this might recall that last year's proposal was to increase the minimum wage to $9.80. This year's proposal is to increase it to $10.10 per hour over three years and we have changed the petition to reflect that.