On Tuesday November 28, Jan Miyasaki speaks with Reverend Michael Livingston, director of Public Policy at the Interfaith Worker Justice based in DC. He was previously the Director of the Poverty Initiative of the National Council of Churches and as the Executive Director of the International Council of Community Churches. Jan speaks with him about a piece that he has written “Wal-Mart’s Black Friday: Who Saves, Who Pays, and Who Prays.”
He speaks about the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), an organization that brings together the labor and religion communities,”We educate people of faith about issues that affect workers in their congregations, and to advocate for public policies that don’t hurt workers, but that actually help them.” The link between labor and faith, he says, is strong, and explains the link from a religious and faith-based perspective, highlighting community ties. He speaks about the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin which organized a Black Friday action. Michael explains that the fact the coalition is interfaith-based demonstrates that these issues do not pertain to one community, but rather that they are relevant across the nation among every community.
Michael talks about the protests at Wal-Mart, “Enormous amounts of money are being made on one side, by the owners and executives and investors of Wal-Mart, at the expense of the workers who make that wealth possible… If Wal-Mart were to raise the minimum wage of workers to $12/hour, so that they would be making about $25,000 a year, it would only cost the customer another $12 a year, to make these types of changes.”
Visit the Interfaith Worker Justice website here.
Listen to the entire interview here: