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Coalition Pushes Living Wages for NYC
Donna Jablonski

May 25, 2011
View the Original Article

In New York City, Wall Street profits are skyscraper high again, real-estate developers and companies are receiving billions in public subsidies and yet a record number of full-time working New Yorkers are relying on food stamps and emergency food assistance because they do not earn enough to support themselves or their families.

But a citywide living wage movement, led by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), is fighting back and pushing for passage of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, legislation that would establish a living wage standard for jobs in taxpayer-subsidized economic development projects, especially large retail centers. It’s a movement that has galvanized many thousands of working people, who have been rallying and marching regularly for the legislation over the past year in congregations and on the streets of the five boroughs of the city. Faith groups, civil rights groups, LGBT groups, anti-hunger groups and many other diverse constituencies are joining forces in the Living Wage NYC coalition.

The fight for living wage jobs is seen as a defining economic justice issue for the future of New York City and all working people. No working person should have to live in poverty. That’s the message being sent loud and clear.