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Fair Minimum Wage

WHEREAS, the Congress is currently considering legislative proposals to increase the minimum wage; and

WHEREAS, this important legislation- in particular "The Working Wage Increase Act of 1996" (S. 413)- provides for an increase in the current minimum wage by 90 cents an hours, over two years; and

WHEREAS, this legislation clearly represents a step in the right direction to improve the income and the quality of living for all Americans through an increase in the minimum wage; and

WHEREAS, this is particularly true for African Americans, who disproportionately constitute a large segment of minimum wage earners with below poverty incomes; and

WHEREAS, legislation increasing the minimum wage is a measure long overdue for hardworking Americans who are desperately trying to make ends meet; and

WHEREAS, the real value of the minimum wage is at a forty year low; and

WHEREAS, the minimum wage was first set at 25 cents an hour in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); and

WHEREAS, Congress last raised the minimum wage with bipartisan support in 1989 from $3.35 an hour to $4.25 an hour over two years; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP maintains that support for an increased minimum wage fits squarely into the welfare reform debate since the current minimum wage is not a living wage and instead is an incentive to remaining on welfare; and

WHEREAS, Congressional proposals to increase the minimum wage are currently burdened by legislative "gridlock"; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon the United States Congress to swiftly pass legislation increasing the minimum wag by 90 cents an hour, over two years; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP mobilize its considerable "grassroots" resources in a nationwide campaign to support this important legislation.