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A Growing Movement

There is a movement to pass living wage ordinances in cities throughout the world. In the United States, this movement began in 1994, when a community-labor coalition mobilized a successful grassroots campaign to pass the nation's first ”living wage” law in Baltimore. Since then, more than 140 U.S. cities have followed suit, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, and San Diego, and there are movements growing in such areas as Rochester, NY and Sonoma County, CA.

The living wage movement's success has led to other local government tools to induce private companies to create middle-class jobs and upgrade low-wage work. President Obama has even expressed support for a national living wage. Click here for more information on the growing movement for living wages in the United States.

The fight for living wages has grown internationally as well.

In London, a coalition called London Citizens has persuaded banks, hospitals, universities and shopping centers to pay a living wage to its employees.

Canada’s first living wage ordinance was recently passed in British Columbia recently, raising the standards for wages throughout the country. There is also a growing living wage movement in New Zealand, spearheaded by the popular Unite union.

Even the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human of Rights says that people throughout the world should be guaranteed good jobs with living wages, and the National Labor Committee says that because Transnational Corporations are unaccountable, “a dehumanized global workforce is ruthlessly exploited, denied their civil liberties, a living wage, and the right to work in dignity in healthy safe environments.”

As more and more people fight for dignity and respect in their own communities, the movement for living wages continues to grow in New York City and throughout the world.