January 18, 2019

The ACLU-NJ celebrated the news that New Jersey officials had reached a deal to usher in a $15 minimum wage for most workers in the state.

In addition, farmworkers will make $12.50 by 2024, followed by a period of re-evaluation.

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha:

“The significance of economic justice in the context of civil rights and liberties cannot be overstated, and this agreement marks an important moment for New Jersey. Every day, people face discrimination and criminalization simply because they’re poor. New Jersey has now committed itself to putting most workers on sounder, more stable economic footing, no matter their job.

“The compromise on farmworkers’ pay – which punts on the issue by raising the wage to $12.50 by 2024 and delays the decision on whether to raise it higher until then – leaves us with unfinished business. We can’t call ourselves the Garden State in good conscience if the people who give meaning to that name are treated as second-class workers. Especially given the particular plight of agricultural workers our state, it would be an injustice to single them out as undeserving of the minimum pay that other workers receive.

“Everyone who works deserves to make enough money not just to survive, but to thrive – and although $15 an hour makes that a greater possibility, it is only a start toward fair compensation and treatment.”

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