PASCRELL HIGHLIGHTS ON WORK FORCE STRUGGLES ON LABOR DAY
PATERSON-U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) offered the following statement before marching in the annual Laor Day Parade at the historic Botto House in Haledon:
"Americans will celebrate Labor Day this weekend by honoring the contributions of working families. But far too often we forget the challenges that still confront our work force. Ninety-four years after the historic Paterson Silk Strike, many of America's working class families continue to struggle.
"New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that as wages declined in 2006, the number of Americans without health care coverage increased to 47 million. The number of uninsured children rose by 600,000, leaving about 9 million children without any health insurance.
"Fortunately help is on the way. Congress has begun to lift up America's workers and rebuild a strong middle class. In May, Congress raised the federal minimum wage for the first time in ten years, giving millions of American workers a long awaited raise. In addition to establishing a livable wage, Congress extended collective bargaining rights, cut student loan interest rates, and established leave time for military families. Perhaps most significant though was passage of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act. The CHAMP Act would improve Medicare for seniors and the disabled, and provide health insurance for 11 million American children, including 121,000 in New Jersey.
"In the spirit of Labor Day, I urge President Bush to relieve our working class families of the tremendous stress that the health care crisis has imposed on them and sign the CHAMP Act into law."