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Federal Minimum Wage

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NEWS
March 29, 2014
The Give America a Raise bus tour stopped at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia Thursday. Like the protesters who held a rally outside a North Philadelphia McDonald's earlier this month, the group is traveling across the country urging an increase in the federal minimum wage. More importantly, the demonstrators are focusing attention on the need to change how all American workers are regarded and paid. It's time to stop derisively viewing fast-food workers as "burger flippers. " The term doesn't do justice to workers whose pay means much more to the U.S. economy now that millions of higher-paying manufacturing jobs have traveled overseas.
NEWS
November 22, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
MOUNTAINSIDE, N.J. - The U.S. Labor Department is continuing a multiyear crackdown on New Jersey gas stations over what it says is widespread failure to follow wage and overtime requirements. The Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $1 million in back wages for 295 workers in the last fiscal year while conducting 74 investigations. It says most of the businesses investigated carried the BP brand. Common violations include paying workers below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, paying straight time rather than time-and-a-half for overtime and paying cash wages off the books.
NEWS
May 7, 2008
WITH LITTLE fanfare, Mayor Nutter signed into law another piece of legislation that will help shore up the financial and health discrepancies faced by some low-income workers hired to work for the city. The New Wage and Benefits Bill, signed last week, requires employers with city contracts to pay their workers up to 150 percent of the federal minimum wage and to provide health benefits equal to their full-time employees. This goes into effect next year. The bill enhances a 2005 city law that made city-supported employers pay workers 150 percent of the state minimum.
NEWS
December 10, 2013
Demonstrators in 100 cities hit the streets outside fast-food restaurants Thursday to protest the miserly wages some service workers are paid. Too many are trying to support families on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and they can't do it. Nor should they have to. Adjusted for inflation, retail workers' wages have fallen 30 percent since 1973. Today's minimum wage would have to be raised to $10.60 an hour to equal the 1968 rate in real dollars. Even the pay of many workers who are lucky enough to earn more than the current minimum falls below the federal poverty line of $19,530 for a household of three.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council on Thursday approved a bill that would make it easier for fast-food firms, hotels, and other traditionally low-wage employers in Philadelphia to pay their workers $12 an hour. If signed into law by Mayor Nutter, an employer would get a $5,000 tax credit for each new full-time worker it hires and pays at least $12 an hour. The tax break would last five years. The bill, sponsored by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. and unanimously approved, comes as some left-leaning groups are campaigning to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, while others want it raised to $15, as Seattle did in June.
NEWS
November 22, 2011 | By Darran Simon, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A U.S. Department of Labor crackdown on workplace practices at New Jersey gas stations has uncovered more than $1 million in back wages owed to nearly 300 workers in what authorities describe as a widespread noncompliance with wage and overtime laws, the agency said Tuesday. The Wage and Hour Division investigated 74 mostly BP brand gas stations between October 2010 and September 2011 - including one in Gloucester County and three in Camden County - and found that only 25 percent of the stations were in compliance with the federal law, the agency said.
NEWS
January 23, 2014 | By Seth Zweifler, Inquirer Staff Writer
A week before President Obama is to deliver his State of the Union address, Sen. Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania is joining a growing chorus of Democratic legislators calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. In a wide-ranging conference call with reporters Tuesday that focused on income inequality, Casey reiterated his support for the Fair Minimum Wage Act, a bill introduced last year that he cosponsored. Supported by Obama and other Democrats, the bill would raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from its current $7.25.
NEWS
February 22, 2008
YESTERDAY WAS a good day for Ronald L. Cuie, an ex-con who served three years in prison for aggravated assault, robbery and other charges. Cuie got a new job, and a U.S. senator was on hand to help announce it. Mayor Nutter named Cuie director of the Mayor's Office for the Re-Entry of Ex-Offenders. Cuie's position is as symbolic as it is significant. He's a guy who did wrong, paid his debt, came out of prison, and now can help others like him get what they need most - a good-paying job. And what Philadelphia needs more of: taxpayers who, if given the right tools, stay out of trouble and out of prison.
NEWS
July 14, 2012 | Associated Press
SCRANTON - State officials on Thursday advanced $2.25 million in incentives for fiscally struggling Scranton on condition that the mayor and City Council settle their differences and implement a financial recovery plan by mid-August. The package would provide a no-interest loan of $2 million and a $250,000 grant to offset operating expenses if city leaders agree on a recovery plan by Aug. 1 and adopt implementing ordinances by Aug. 15. The state also would provide an outside mediator to help the two sides seek a compromise.
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NEWS
August 2, 2016 | By Minor Sinclair and Joseph M. Schwartz
  Hard work should pay off. But for millions of workers in the United States, it hardly pays the bills. We need candidates willing to champion changes that will benefit everyone in the economy. And now is the time because here it comes with flashing lights and loud cheers: The general election season is here now that the two major parties have held their national conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. This is the moment when candidates for the presidency and Congress start to lay out their agendas, giving voters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the nation a chance to look at who has the best ideas for the country and states.
NEWS
December 2, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last month, a dozen workers walked through Philadelphia International Airport just before 5 a.m., wondering whether they still had jobs. The repercussions of their walkout the day before - a protest over pay and conditions - would be seen when they tried to clock in. Standing among the anxious group were three members of City Council. The pre-dawn escort was only the latest wage-equality crusade to draw Council's attention. Some want Council's next step to be radical - passing a $15 citywide minimum wage, despite state law that seems to say it can't.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council on Thursday approved a bill that would make it easier for fast-food firms, hotels, and other traditionally low-wage employers in Philadelphia to pay their workers $12 an hour. If signed into law by Mayor Nutter, an employer would get a $5,000 tax credit for each new full-time worker it hires and pays at least $12 an hour. The tax break would last five years. The bill, sponsored by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. and unanimously approved, comes as some left-leaning groups are campaigning to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, while others want it raised to $15, as Seattle did in June.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nine fast-food workers were among 11 people arrested Thursday for blocking traffic on Arch Street near a Center City McDonald's, part of a national campaign pushing large restaurant chains to pay workers at least $15 an hour and seeking greater attention for income disparities. Dozens were reported arrested at similar rallies planned in about 150 cities Thursday. Organizers of the "Fight for $15" campaign said they planned civil disobedience to highlight an effort that has made little headway since it began with a small New York strike after Thanksgiving in 2012.
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
UNDER A BLAZING noontime sun, Philadelphia police Capt. Stephen Glenn and a couple of officers slowly worked their way, one by one, down the row of 11 young fast-food workers and supporters sitting in the normally busy intersection of Broad and Arch streets in Center City. Most of the youthful workers grabbed a microphone and uttered a short statement before the cops read their rights, arrested them, placed them in plastic handcuffs and led them to a waiting bus. "I'm doing this so we can pay our medical bills - we're making history right now," protester Jose Torres said before he was led away.
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Sen. Cory Booker launched his reelection campaign Wednesday at Camden County College, portraying himself as a pragmatic problem-solver whose "prosperity agenda" to lift the middle class contrasts sharply with his Republican opponent's "defunct and debunked" economic ideas. Booker, a 45-year-old Democrat and the former celebrity mayor of Newark, is seeking his first full, six-year Senate term after winning a special election last year to complete the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The low-paid airport workers who cheered when Mayor Nutter signed an executive order in May that extended minimum wage benefits to subcontractors such as them are not cheering anymore. Three weeks have passed since the mayor's order, applying the $10.88 minimum wage requirement to subcontractors, went into effect. But the paychecks of many of those airport workers still reflect $7.50 hourly wages. The order applies to any bids or proposals issued after May 20, and starting Jan. 1, all proposals and contracts will include a $12-an-hour minimum wage requirement.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
City voters once again rejected a controversial measure that would have allowed politicians to keep their current post while campaigning for another. Tuesday's ballot question to repeal the long-standing resign-to-run rule was defeated by a close margin. The issue was also defeated in 2007. The other two questions on the ballot prevailed. Voters decided that city subcontractors must pay their workers 150 percent of the federal minimum wage, or $10.88 an hour. The minimum wage issue was front and center with airport workers, who were making as little as $7 an hour.
NEWS
May 21, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
NATE SMITH, 22, a baggage handler at Philadelphia International Airport and father of a 2-year-old girl, says he experiences pretty much all of the downsides of work - the constant aches and back pain from lugging more than 1,000 heavy bags every day. But earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the Southwest Philadelphia resident says he is not enjoying the full benefits of his labors. Smith said that he, his fiancee and his daughter are living with his grandmother to make ends meet, and he's frustrated when he can't buy his little girl a toy because he can barely pay the monthly bills.
NEWS
May 20, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia voters will decide three ballot questions on Tuesday, including one seeking to end the city's long tradition of forcing politicians to resign from office before running for another post. The resign-to-run rule was enshrined in the City Charter in 1951 as a good government salve to years of corrupt, one-party rule. But City Councilman David Oh, who sponsored legislation to put the question on the ballot, said the rule instead had caused political stagnation that hamstrings the city's influence.
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