The Green Party of New Jersey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Parsippany, NJ – The Green Party of New Jersey congratulates workers, but demands more from the State Legislature on the minimum wage. The New Jersey State legislature missed a critical opportunity to immediately improve the living standards of working people throughout the state when it voted on S-15. While the Senate narrowly passed an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, it has delayed this necessary increase until 2021.
The Green Party of New Jersey was an early endorser of the 15Now! Campaign here in New Jersey and nationally. We will continue to stand up for the needs of working people, and against the demands of Wall Street and WalMart for absurd corporate profits. Low-wage workers and their allies began this fight more than four years ago to force employers to pay a wage that would not leave its workers in poverty.
At that time, the establishment politicians told workers that $15 an hour was unreasonable, and that they would just need to settle for less. This was despite the fact that these businesses were still recording more and more profit. No one told businesses that their demands for ever increasing profits were unreasonable, but instead politicians and some in the media told working people that they will have to suffer for less so that business leaders and the 1% can continue to grow their wealth. Yesterday’s action shows that when we the people refused to accept the unacceptable, we have the power to win.
The Green Party of New Jersey supports immediate action to increase the minimum wage to a living wage. Our current platform states that people have a right to jobs that pay a living wage. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator, a single worker needs to make about $12.50 an hour to live on that wage. That is only if they don’t have to support a family on that wage.
The number increases if workers have children. Even a family of four with two working adults currently require a wage of more than $15 an hour, and that is before the next four years of inflation. This is unacceptable and shows that the Legislature cares more about lining the pockets of business owners than ensuring the people can feed a family on a 40 hour workweek.
“The New Jersey State Legislature made a decision to support the desires of WalMart and McDonalds for higher profits, over the needs of working people” said GPNJ vice-chair Michael Mangels. “These actions are unacceptable, and show that until we build a party of the 99% workers will continue to suffer at the hands of concentrated wealth and power and their allies in the Democratic and Republican Parties,” he added during an afternoon conference call with registered Greens.
The Green Party of New Jersey is a party that fights for our four pillars of ecology, democracy, peace, and social justice. The Green Party is running two candidates for U.S. Congress in 2016 – Dr. Rajit B. Malliah in the 6thDistrict, and Steve Welzer in the 12th District. Gary Frazier is running for Camden City Council. Our presumptive presidential nominee is Dr. Jill Stein from Massachusetts.
All candidates running on the Green Party ticket this year support a $15 an hour minimum wage now.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Michael Mangels, Vice-Chair GPNJ: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Frazier, Camden City Council candidate: email@example.com
Steve Welder, 12th Congressional District candidate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rajit Malliah, MD, 6th Congressional District candidate: email@example.com
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