In 1967, just a year before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther Kinglaunched the Poor People’s Campaign to “to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty”. Five decades on little has changed for low-wage workers.
Minimum wage increases in the US have failed to even keep pace with inflation. A full-time minimum wage worker in 1968 would have earned $20,600 a year (in 2017 dollars), according to the Economics Policy Institute(EPI). A worker paid the federal minimum wage would have only earned $15,080 working full time in 2017. Even the record-breaking run in employment growth has so far failed to raise the wages of low-paid workers.
Last week there seemed to be a sign of change. Amazon became the latest company to promise a $15 minimum wage for its workers in the US (and an increase to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the UK). See more...