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Colorado: Skico Pay Violates Religious Teachings
The Aspen Times
Lee Mulcahy

January 19, 2011
View the Original Article


Dear Editor:

“Wealthy owners of the means of production and employers must never forget that both divine and human law forbid them to squeeze the poor and wretched for the sake of gain or to profit from the helplessness of others.” — Pope Leo XIII

A living wage is a concept central to the Catholic social teaching, which derives its foundation from Rerum Novarum, a papal encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, issued in 1891 “to combat the excesses of both laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and communism on the other.” It has tenets in the halakha, the collective body of Jewish law, as well as the teachings of Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth.

In the United States, the state of Maryland and several municipalities have enacted ordinances that set a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum for the purpose of requiring all jobs to meet the living wage for that area. And San Francisco and Santa Fe, N.M., have notably passed very wide-reaching living wage ordinances. U.S. cities with living wage laws include Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico; San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Living-wage laws typically cover only businesses that receive state assistance or have contracts with the government.

This effort commenced in 1994, when an alliance between a labor union and religious leaders in Baltimore launched a successful campaign requiring city service contractors to pay a living wage. Following this campaign, community advocates have achieved victory with similar laws in cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and St. Louis. In 2007, there were at least 140 living-wage ordinances in cities throughout the United States and more than 100 living-wage campaigns under way in cities, counties, states and college campuses.

Johnny Boyd is a voice for the little guy, and he is correct. For those that attacked Johnny personally: Let's stay on issue here and remember what the point that Johnny is trying to make instead of spewing bile. We get it. Save your ink.

The Skico's use of H2B visas affects everyone that is a worker bee in the sense of lower wages for all. Worker bees should call our new congressman, Scott Tipton, at (970) 241-2499 and voice your views.

And while we are at it, call Mike Kaplan's office at 925-1220 and tell him what you think of a living wage for all Skico employees. But if you are a Skico employee, I'd advise against this. Skico retaliates. Harshly.

Lee Mulcahy

Aspen