'Justice'

Wage Gap Continues to Increase — Take Action!

Posted on 03. Apr, 2016 by .

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The following is from the Coalition on Human Needs:

Acton steps are at the bottom of the article!

A new report confirms what many Americans feel every day: the wage gap between the top and everyone else continues to grow. The good news is that real hourly wages (or, in non-economist speak, wages adjusted for inflation) grew across the board in 2015. However, the folks at the Economic Policy Institute found that wage growth was largest for top wage earners, meaning that wage inequality grew for the 35th year in a row.

As the EPI’s graph below shows, the wage gap between folks in the lower wage groups and those in the middle has remained pretty stable (the report says since about 2000). But the gap between the folks at the top and everyone else continues to grow. The report found that overall wages grew by 2.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, but wages for those in the top 5 percent grew by nearly 3 times that – 6.4 percent. For men in the top 5 percent, the wage growth was even higher at almost 10 percent.

According to EPI, wage inequality has risen since the late 1970s in part because of policies that have let the value of the minimum wage fall and eroded workers’ rights to collectively bargain. To this first point, the report shows that wage growth at the bottom of the wage scale was faster in states that increased their minimum wage. Twenty–three states and DC saw increases to their minimum wage in 2015, either through legislation or through automatic increases because those states’ minimum wage is indexed to inflation. As the EPI figure below shows, low-wage workers in states that didn’t increase their minimum wage saw a lower wage growth than workers in other states. This shows how strong labor standards in general and a stronger minimum wage in particular can improve circumstances for low-wage workers and help reduce inequity.

As our economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, too many low-income Americans are still being left behind. To ensure that a rising tide really does lift all boats, we need to raise the minimum wage and expand overtime protections for low- and middle-income earners. The latter, which would benefit 13.5 million workers, became closer to reality earlier this month when the Department of Labor moved its proposed changes to the overtime rule to the next step towards final approval.

Take Action!

To take action, use this tool from the National Partnership for Women and Families to tweet at your members of Congress and urge them to support the #RaiseTheWage Act, and follow developments on raisetheminimumwage.com. You can also follow developments on the overtime rule by using the hashtag #FixOvertime and visiting fixovertime.org.

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Tragedy in Honduras

Posted on 03. Apr, 2016 by .

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The following is from the Franciscan Action Network (FAN):

More Sad News from Honduras

Less than two weeks after the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres, another member of her organization has been murdered.

We mourn and condemn the murder of Nelson Garcia, a faithful member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH).

Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia sacrificed their lives to protect their people’s land and river from destruction by the Agua Zarca Dam, one of the world’s largest dams that would cut off the ethnic Lenca people from water, food and medicine.

Prior to hearing of the murder of Nelson Garcia, the Vatican Justice and Peace council called for independent investigation of the murder of Berta Carceres. We pray these murders will not go uninvestigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

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2016 Election Guide

Posted on 02. Apr, 2016 by .

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As we get closer to the November general election, CMSM (Conference of Superiors of Men) has created an Election Guide. They worked with a new Catholic coalition of national advocacy organizations to develop this. It is meant as a spiritual reflection guide that incorporates significant elements of Pope Francis’ message.

Don’t forget how important it is to vote in both the primary and general elections!

To access the guide, click on the link below:

2016 Election Guide

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I See You

Posted on 28. Mar, 2016 by .

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“I see you”

Sawubona-I-see-you

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in a message to a conference on racism in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 3, 2016:

‘When the Zulu people of South Africa greet someone, they say “Sawubona,” which means  “I see you.”

The one being greeted responds with “Sikhona” which means “I am here.”

The greeter ends by affirming “Ubuntu” which means, “We are, and so I am.”

‘Let me contrast this remarkable form of exchange with the experience of racism. Its effect is to render people invisible, and from that follows the denial of human dignity, then loss of identity, then personal despair, then social and political distrust — it unleashes a host of ills that have penetrated into every facet of life….

‘The healing of racism begins in our own hearts. How our hearts would be shaped if everyone learned to greet each other in the Zulu manner! It invites us to self-examination: how often do I overlook people who differ from me and my kind? Do my biases cloud my ability to fully “see” another person in his or her full human dignity? Admitting my failure to see the other as human is to begin the struggle to vanquish unconscious bias and interpersonal racism.’

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Marrakesh Declaration

Posted on 04. Mar, 2016 by .

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The Rights of Religious Minorities in
Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities:

Legal Framework and a Call to Action
Marrakesh, Morocco

“What paradigm concerning religious minorities can the Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and philosophers advance in today’s world as an ideal goal to work toward?”

To read the full booklet, click here.

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