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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Minimum Wage Campaign Fights for National Living Wage
24 Jul 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Minimum Wage Campaign Fights for National Living Wage

Interview with Holly Sklar, senior policy adviser with the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

As some Wall Street firms announce post-taxpayer bailout record profits, there's a tiny bit of good news at the other end of the economic spectrum. On July 24, the third and final increase in a three-tier federal minimum wage law goes into effect, raising wages for the lowest paid workers covered under the law from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. The first increase in ten years sent the minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 in 2007.

Even though the latest increase means an additional $1,400 a year for full-time workers, their new total salary totals just over $15,000 annually -- not really enough for one person to live on, much less a family. The minimum wage, instituted during the Great Depression, mandated a national base pay for all workers. However, during the intervening years, wage earners have suffered a dramatic decrease in buying power that exacerbates the financial crisis many working families find themselves in during the nation's current severe recession.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Holly Sklar, senior policy adviser for the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign. She explains that the campaign's goal is not just incremental increases in the minimum wage, but a real living wage equal to what workers earned 50 years ago, adjusted for inflation.

Contact Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign by calling (617) 522-2923 or visit their website at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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