A Living Wage Is Good For All

Steve McIntyre. The Galveston Daily News. November 30, 2014. B4.

Over two years ago on June 1, 2012 Archbishop emeritus of the Galveston-Houston Diocese Joseph A. Fiorenza wrote a guest column in the Houston Chronicle concerning the struggle of Houston janitors to get a higher wage. He said in part:

“The concept of the common good should never be forgotten. All the benefits of a well ordered society—food, medicine, education, work, decent housing, security, peace, justice, and other human values—compromise the common good. The common good relates well to the American spirit of fairness and equal opportunity. It should never be the right of only those who are more fortunate. Every person should be able to share the common good available to all Houstonians. The janitors should not be forced to choose between buying food or medicine for their families, or between paying a doctor or rent. They will not be forced into these tragic decisions if a new contract provides a living wage for their labor.”

It is hard to argue that a hard-working family should not be able to survive in Houston or Galveston. You can read the entire column of Archbishop Emeritus Fiorenza at www.gulfcoastinterfaith.org/resources/employment .

Are the hard-working families in Galveston surviving on their wages or are they standing in the growing lines at the food pantries and food stamp office to survive?

Are they waiting to get in line to apply for housing assistance when the application process reopens next year or the year after? Who is paying for their struggle to survive?

The articles and editorials at the website of Gulf Coast Interfaith that talk about decent wages for workers may be helpful to you if what Fiorenza has said has caused you to pause and wonder about the fairness of the wages paid to our hard-working friends and neighbors in Galveston.