September 3, 2013 |
On Labor Day - and every day - everyone wants a raise. So on Thursday, fast-food workers in Wilmington and around the nation went on strike for $15-an-hour pay. A week ago, advocates gathered in New Jersey to rally in support of passing the state's minimum-wage referendum. And on Monday, Labor Day, Philadelphia skycaps will march in the city's Labor Day parade after restaurant workers dish out ice cream, both promoting a push for higher wages. These campaigns also provide a glimpse of what is either labor's future strategy, or its back-to-the-future strategy, at a time when unions are increasingly marginalized.
September 2, 2013 |
As strikes go, this one was more symbol than shutdown. The Burger King on U.S. 202 in Wilmington, in my neighborhood, was one of the fast-food outlets hit by a national mini-walkout and picketing backed by the Service Employees International Union . SEIU held a pre-Labor Day "action," pushing for higher wages for the army of workers who pack and sell fast-food sandwiches, drinks, fries, and snacks in factory-like conditions. The strikers want to double the minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, as my colleague Jane Von Bergen reported.
August 31, 2013 |
Joining hundreds of fast-food workers around the country, nearly a dozen Burger King employees walked off the job for a one-day strike at two Wilmington-area restaurants Thursday morning. "Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages supersize," the employees chanted, as they were joined by union organizers and community supporters on a busy stretch of Concord Pike. A handful of striking workers from nearby fast- food places stopped by to picket. Seeking a raise to $15 an hour, they and other fast-food workers went on a one-day strike in more than 50 cities, including New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Boston.
August 27, 2013 |
THE MOMENT Angela Sykes drove past Cedar Park Cafe on Baltimore Avenue and realized it had reopened, she immediately called her husband. "They reopened," Sykes said with childlike excitement, sitting at a table across from husband Darryl. "Here we are today. " The Sykeses, who live in Mayfair but attend Victory Christian Center in Cedar Park, were part of a large brunch crowd yesterday at the newly renovated cafe - eight months after the building was shuttered because of extensive damage from a fire at a lounge next door to the cafe and the lounge's subsequent demolition.
August 24, 2013 |
The cans of vegetables and soups were endless, and at times no meat was available beyond hot dogs in a few portable coolers. Volunteers had few choices to offer hungry families four years ago when the West Chester Food Cupboard (WCFC) emerged from the ashes of a bankrupt food charity. But on a recent afternoon, clients browsed refrigerators stocked with fresh chicken, ground turkey, beef, milk, eggs, and leafy greens. The stock rotates constantly, said Sam Wolfgong, one of the seven lead volunteers, and in general the cupboard looks like a supermarket - without the bill at the end. "We're really proud of what we're able to offer people now," he said.
August 24, 2013 |
Celebrate Lansdale's Founders Day on Saturday with arts, entertainment, contests, train rides, and more at Memorial Park. The fun begins at 9 a.m. with the Lansdale Farmer's Market showcasing local produce. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be an arts and music festival, a 25-year tradition sponsored by the Borough of Lansdale Parks and Recreation Department. Highlights: food, crafts, prizes, and performances by the Walnut Street Chamber Trio and Eric Mintel Jazz Quartet. New Hope Ivyland Railroad's train excursions to Souderton will feature historical commentary provided by a member of the Lansdale Historical Society.
August 19, 2013
It would be morally repugnant to allow food assistance to dry up at a time of heightened need. But a $5 billion boost in yearly food-stamp funding - added under the 2009 stimulus to help more Americans get enough to eat during the recession - is set to expire on Nov. 1. The loss would affect 1.8 million Pennsylvanians and 900,000 New Jerseyans. The reduction would cost a family of four 21 meals a month - "devastating arithmetic for families already living either on the edge or within the abyss of poverty," The Inquirer's Alfred Lubrano wrote.
August 7, 2013 |
With food-stamp benefits soon to drop and the prospect of an additional $40 billion in cuts to the federal program looming, New Jersey antihunger organizations worry that the need will grow and they won't be able to meet it. Across the country, food-stamp recipients will see a decrease in benefits Nov. 1, with the expiration of an increase that went into effect in 2009 as part of the federal stimulus. In New Jersey, where 858,000 people - about one in 10 residents - receive food stamps, a family of three will likely see benefits decrease by $29 a month, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal-leaning think-tank.
August 2, 2013 |
The Fresh Grocer chain of supermarkets will join Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative that supplies Shop Rite supermarkets, Wakefern announced Wednesday. Fresh Grocer co-founder Patrick Burns will continue to own the chain's eight stores, primarily in this region, while Wakefern will own the Fresh Grocer name. One of the locations in the Philadelphia area will become a ShopRite. "Adding the strength of the Fresh Grocer brand and its unique offering will help us to continue our growth in the Philadelphia marketplace," said Joe Sheridan, Wakefern president and chief operating officer.
July 30, 2013 |
Decked out in her Jamaican flag dress, 2-year-old Isis Jones danced to the various evangelical performances alongside her family Sunday during International Day at Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Edgewater Park. Isis, like many others, was representing her family's home country through her clothing. Others wore traditional African dresses representative of their region or tribe. It was the Burlington County church's annual event, in which other South Jersey and Philadelphia churches join the congregation in celebrating the unity of people.