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Activist lectures on low-wage workers

Brittany VanSnepson | Friday, March 19, 2010

Social justice activist Kim Bobo discussed the injustices commonly faced by low-wage workers in a lecture titled “Making a Difference for Low Wage Workers” Thursday at the Vander Vennet Theatre.

Bobo, executive director and founder of Interfaith Worker Justice, focused on addressing the issues of benefits, fair pay, equal treatment and healthy working conditions for low-wage workers.

 “These problems are not somewhere else, they’re here,” Bobo said. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding of wages in society … to dramatically change things.”

Bobo said wage theft is an activity where employers illegally underpay workers for the work they have already completed. She said this activity is left largely unreported and unnoticed throughout the nation.

“It’s just not enough to barely make ends meet,” Bobo said.

Bobo suggested one small, yet significant, way of changing injustices to low-wage workers is by leaving cash tips.

“Tip stealing is a pretty common way of employers stealing from workers,” said Bobo.

However, said the best change can only come in the form of young adults getting more active in the cause to help low-wage workers.

“It’s not the elders and it’s not the faculty … it’s the younger leaders,” she said.

The younger generations should involve their friends and family members in the cause, as well as apply for internships within the community that help to address issues of low wage workers.

“We just have to love our neighbor as we do ourselves,” Bobo said.