Reform leaders join bid to raise minimum wage for federal workers

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Leaders of the Reform movement joined with their Muslim and Christian counterparts in calling on the U.S. government to raise the minimum wage for federal employees.

Calling the federal government the largest employer of low-wage workers, the religious leaders wrote to President Obama saying it was a “moral imperative” to give the people who clean the federal buildings and serve the workers in those buildings a living wage.

“They can barely afford basic needs; they work without benefits and are too often not compensated for overtime in violation of federal law,” the religious leaders wrote.

The letter was signed by Rabbi Rick Block of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Maria Feldman, executive director of Women of Reform Judaism; Lynn Magid Lazar, president of Women of Reform Judaism; Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice advocacy group.