Yet these same corporate interest groups remained silent when Mercedes-Benz executives were given a midnight tax break on their luxury car leases; a tax break that won’t help create a single job.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Born from struggle and driven to find solutions, the labor movement is fighting back to correct this economic imbalance, and these efforts have captured the attention of everyone from the President to the Pope. We are determined to counteract these imbalances because we know they did not come about by chance. They have been the result of failed public policies and a rise in political and corporate attacks on working people. Simply put, it is time to change the rules.
In Clayton County, working people are already putting words into action. Last November, voters there approved a 1 cent sales tax increase to expand MARTA bus and rail transit into their community. Expanding bus and rail service not only is creating more good paying jobs in the community, it is giving working people more transportation options, that will expand economic opportunities for the 250,000-plus residents.
Working people are united under the banner of “Raising Wages” because America should have an economy of shared prosperity that lifts families up and strengthens our nation. By raising wages, providing for paid sick days, paid maternity leave and equal pay for equal work, and combating wage theft and other things that stand in the way of economic stability, we can empower working people to not just survive, but thrive.
Unfortunately, our current state minimum wage remains one of the lowest in the nation at $5.15 an hour, despite a majority (57 percent) of voters supporting an increase. Sadly, despite what their constituents want, legislators at the Gold Dome refuse to bring this issue to the table.
We also lag behind other states in modernizing our paid family and medical leave laws. Family values are strong in Georgia, yet our laws don’t support working families in caring for new children, sick children or an elderly parent. We can and should do better. On Labor Day, let us refocus on doing what is best for our families, our communities, our state and our nation.
Working people everywhere are standing up and speaking out for fundamental, lasting change, regardless of whether they work in manufacturing, engineering, service or retail. Every day, they work hard and sacrifice to make our country stronger. This Labor Day should be a celebration of working families, because we are ready to speak up together, change the rules and bring lasting economic balance so every family can pursue the American Dream and work for a better life.