Give 1.3 Million Vets a Raise:Union Vets calls on Congress to Pass "Raise the Wage Act'

In a strongly worded letter, the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO has urged members of Congress to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which will directly improve the lives of more than 1.3 million American veterans currently earning less than 15 dollars an hour. 

This vote gives our lawmakers a clear choice to either support America’s veterans, or once again overlook the reality that these patriots face every day. We truly hope they stand with us, as we stood for our country in uniform. 

Read the letter below and get involved by calling your member of Congress and asking them to support these veterans 

Members of Congress, This week you have the unique opportunity to directly improve the lives of more than 1.3 million American veterans with just one vote; chances like this do not come around every day. As elected leaders charged with supporting the brave men and women who served our nation, we truly hope you take this opportunity to give a long-overdue raise to these veterans and their families. 

The Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO, urges you to vote for the “Raise the Wage Act of 2019” (H.R. 582), scheduled for floor consideration this week. This legislation would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. Because Congress has not raised the minimum wage in more than 10 years, millions of our nation’s full-time workers live in poverty. If the minimum wage had risen at the same pace as productivity growth since the Vietnam War, it would be over $20 an hour today. 

Phasing in a $15 minimum wage would benefit over 1.3 million veterans (approximately 18% of all working veterans) and begin to address the growing crisis of wage inequality in this community.  

Improving the lives of returning service members today is one of the best ways to ensure we have the volunteer force from the next generation of young Americans to fulfill the readiness needs of our nation's military.    

Allowing for a lower regional minimum wage, as some have suggested, would lock hundreds of thousands of veteran workers into poverty, and would be especially harmful to younger veterans, veterans of color and women. 

Multiple studies have shown that financial instability is one of the leading factors contributing to the veteran suicide crisis. The U.S Army War College's strategic research project, “Financial Instability: Suicide’s Weapon of Choice,” states: “Leaders must recognize that building financial resiliency within the veterans community is essential in preventing further rises in suicide.” You are those leaders. 

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour has the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans, and the benefits far exceed any potential cost. Once again, we urge you to vote YES on the Raise the Wage Act and NO on any weakening amendments.

The facts here are clear: You have the choice to either support America’s veterans, or once again overlook the reality that these patriots face every day. We truly hope you stand with us, as we stood for you in uniform. 

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