January 19, 2007

MINIMUM WAGE TO MOVE IN U.S. SENATE: PLEASE CALL TOLL-FREE, and a brief mention of trains and locomotives

Caption: Once more unto the breech...Seamus McGoogle prepares himself for a final push to raise the federal minimum wage.

The word on the proverbial streets (not that there is much in the way of streets at Goat Rope Farm) is that the U.S. Senate is set to take up a bill to raise the minimum wage as soon as Monday.

The American Friends Service Committee and the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign are urging people to call their Senators today and Monday to urge them to raise the minimum wage and reject amendments that undermine workers rights or are fiscally irresponsible.

The AFSC is providing a toll-free number to call: 1-800-459-1887.

Here's a suggested script from Let Justice Roll:

Step 1: Call 1-800-459-1887 to be connected to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard.

Step 2: Ask for the office of one of your senators. (To find out your senators' names, click here.)

Step 3: Tell the person who answers the phone:

"Hi, my name is _______________ and I'm a constituent. Please tell Senator _______ to vote for S. 2, the minimum-wage bill. Please oppose ALL amendments, including “poison pill” tax breaks and assaults on worker rights. Will Senator ___ vote in favor of S. 2 and oppose amendments to it?"

Step. 4: Repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3 for your second senator.

BACKGROUND. On Jan. 10, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 315 to 116 to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour by 2009. The bill faces a tougher fight in the Senate.

Currently, a full time minimum wage worker earns $10,712 per year--nearly $6,000 below the federal poverty level for a family of three. In the 10 years since the federal minimum wage was last raised--the longest period since we had a minimum wage--Congress has raised its own pay by $31,000. That's three years full time work at the current minimum. It's past time for a change.

The Let Justice Roll soundbite says it all: a job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it.

You can find all kinds of facts and figures about the need to raise the minimum at the LJR website above and copious coverage of the topic, with pictures of Seamus, in the Goat Rope archives.

It's been a long, hard fight, but we're almost there. Please do your part--Seamus needs a rest.

NOW A WORD ON TRAINS. El Cabrero recently "heard" from another blogger that merely mentioning the word "trains" will drive up hits to blogs. This is a test. (Note: there is method to my madness. Anyone cool enough to like trains is likely to be cool enough to call their senators in support of raising the minimum wage.)

In addition, it is the official position of Goat Rope that trains, locomotives and related things are cool.

In fact, sometimes El Cabrero dreams of trains. And like tunnels and stuff.



Opie said...

Thank you for the "how to" El Cabrero. I've often thought about "making a call" but really didn't know how to start.

El Cabrero said...

De nada. I started to put something in there about hopping a train to DC to deliver the message, but the Goat Rope legal team told me there were some liability issues...

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thanks! I shall.

El Cabrero said...

Good to hear from you! We need LOTS of calls from Kentucky if you feel inclined to call out the cavalry. Hope all is well with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Trains are cool, but I don't get the appeal of going out to the tracks to wait for trains to watch. But running across them or riding on them is cool.

El Cabrero said...

You have a point. I always wanted to hop one...

Claude Scales said...

Better late than never, I'm responding to your mention of trains. Unfortunately, what I should have written is that mention of a specific train will get you a steady stream of visitors who, I would guess, are considering riding it.

Does that famous Harley Staggers special still wend its way through the Mountain State?