Friday, December 6, 2013

If one falls, one can raise the other - Remarks for the Raise the Wage Las Cruces Rally on December 5, 2013

    Today, we stand in solidarity with fast food workers, community members, and faith leaders in 200 American cities who are demonstrating against low pay.
    Today, fast food workers in a 100 American cities went on strike, demanding fair pay and a right to unionize.
     In a similar spirit, we launch our campaign, Raise the Wage Las Cruces.  as people of faith, we believe every worker deserves a living wage to provide for themselves and their families.
    From our faith-based perspective, we believe that workers should be treated fairly.  They should be paid in a way that compensates them for the services they provide.  They should be paid on time at all times.
    We believe in the highest degree of charity as stated by the 12 Century Jewish sage Maimonides:  helping a person become self-supporting by means of a gift, a loan, or finding employment for the one in need.  That means that the wages for a person must give him or her the opportunity to make ends meet: to be able to put food on the table and to provide shelter and what is necessary for the well-being of his or her entire family.  Being self-supporting means that a person can feel secure about his or her future.
    We read in the book of Ecclesiastes: Two are better than one, in that they have greater benefit from their earnings.  For should they fall, one can raise the other, but woe to the one who is alone and falls with no companion to raise him or her up. 

    Businesses and companies of all sizes need to see every employee as a partner, as someone significant, as a person who deserves to gain subsistence and satisfaction from his or her work.  That is what we ask today:  that no employee ever feel that he or she is alone.  That is why, today, we stand with those who do not make a fair wage and we declare today that they should have a chance to move out of poverty so they can be self-supporting and have a sense of hope for the months and years to come!

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