Carter Wright,, 202-531-9386

Issued April 28, 2016

SEIU’s Henry: We stand with working people in Alabama fighting against attempt to block local minimum wage boost

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement today regarding the lawsuit filed by the NAACP and citizens of Birmingham, Ala., over the state legislature's move to take away a raise for working people in Birmingham that was approved by city government:

“The working men and women of SEIU fully support working people in Birmingham and their fight to raise their local wage floor.

“It is appalling that profitable special interests are trying to use their influence at the state level to nullify democratic decision-making by African American elected leaders who were elected by the people of Birmingham.

“Right now, wages are so low that too many working people are getting trapped into poverty no matter how hard they work. Raising wages will give more families enough money to pay their bills and more money to spend in Birmingham neighborhoods, which will create jobs and boost the economy.

“Nearly four in ten Americans who are paid the minimum wage are people of color. For far too long, racism and racial anxiety have been used by corporations and wealthy elites to support policies that hold down wages and turn hard work into poverty jobs.

“We stand against attempts to divide us and for higher wages that fuel inclusive prosperity for every family of every race.”