THEN ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS PETITION TO DEMAND ACTION.
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) has developed a statement against the injustices Virginia's workers face every day, that we are inviting religious leaders (clergy and lay), and people of goodwill, from all around the commonwealth to sign. We will deliver it to the Governor and to legislators when worker and wage bills are considered next session. Feel free to share it with friends and neighbors. Add your name and affiliation to the statement below. If you feel inclined, include a short note sharing why this issue is of significance to you.
Please make sure to indicate your name, title, and your congregation/faith community affiliation and/or professional affiliation.
You will be signing on as an individual - not speaking for your institution. The final document will include this language, "Clergy's/community members' institution affiliations are listed for identification purposes only."
This statement has been developed in response to the alarming findings of the State of Working Virginia report. Click here to read the full report.
The text of the actual letter you are signing begins below the following line.
TCI & VICPP's State of Working Virginia report reveals alarming new data that is being reported for the first time:
The wage gap for Virginia’s Black workers has barely shrunken since 1979. Black workers in Virginia were paid 72 cents for every dollar a white worker was paid in 1979 and 74 cents for every dollar a white worker made in 2021.
The wage gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white workers has actually widened from 72 cents for every dollar in 2001 (the earliest data available) to 68 cents for every dollar in 2021.
Women of color – who are at the intersection of racism and sexism – are hit the hardest by wage inequality in Virginia, with Black women being paid just 59 cents for every dollar paid to white men and Latina women being paid just 52 cents.
The Commonwealth Institute of Fiscal Analysis and Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy's "State of Working Virginia" report highlights the need to do more to support workers in low-wage jobs and their families. You can click here to read the full report.
In addition to data about workers’ income and wages, the report shows that there is a lack of comprehensive and widespread support for workers in Virginia — such as paid sick days or paid time off, affordable child care, and adequate employment benefits. Without careful planning for the future and adequate implementation of Virginia’s laws, many Virginians may lose health care or fall victim to wage theft. The report also details the benefits of unionization for workers, the history of worker organizing in Virginia, and what major challenges that limit workers’ right to organize in Virginia still exist.
Reverend Doctor Anthony Fludd, Assistant Pastor at St. Johns Church of God in Christ in Newport News and Vice-Chair of the Board, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, asked this crucial question upon reading the report:
“We have learned during this pandemic how many low-paid workers were willing to put themselves at great risk for their company and for their community. So let us recognize the many people whose work is a blessing to society, yet they are struggling to care for their own family. Who is willing to speak the truth and stand in the gap to address low wages? We must act and we must compel our legislators to act.”
Every Virginian’s daily routine is made possible by the goods and services provided to the community by Virginia’s workers. When Virginia workers suffer, all of Virginia suffers. We are all #WorkingVirginia.
For these reasons, we, the undersigned, urge our legislators to take the necessary actions to help care for those who keep society running, those who are having to do so at the expense of their own and their families' well being and sometimes lives. Our legislators are the ones with the power to eradicate the injustices our most vulnerable endure every day. It's time to act. No one should have to choose between putting food on the table and their or their families' lives.