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Minimum Wage

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NEWS
May 16, 2005 | By VINCENT HUGHES
THE FEDERAL government has decided that a minimum-wage increase is not a priority. With the recent defeat by Congress of two proposals to raise the minimum wage, it is imperative that Pennsylvania find a way to raise its minimum wage on a state or local level. This is exactly what Philadelphia Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. has done. The recent passage by City Council's Committee on Commerce and Economic Development of a proposal introduced by Councilman Goode requiring city-supported employers to pay at least 150 percent of the state minimum wage to its employees, is commendable.
NEWS
October 30, 1987 | By Gerald B. Jordan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
About 500 people from various labor and unemployment coalitions rallied on the west steps of the Capitol yesterday to appeal to Congress to boost the $3.35-an-hour federal minimum wage. "We elect these people and they come up here and pay no attention to our needs," said Jim Carson, director of the People's Coalition in St. Louis. "They slip their pay raises through with no problems. " Labor subcommittees in both houses are considering legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $4.65 an hour over about three years.
NEWS
April 22, 2005 | By Craig Garthwaite
Craig Garthwaite is director of research at the Employment Policies Institute As Gov. Rendell and state legislators consider a proposal for a $7 an hour minimum wage, they should also bear in mind Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's warning that such a move "prevents people who are at the early stages of their careers . . . from getting a foothold in the ladder of promotions. " Wage-hike proponents often argue that minimum-wage employees haven't had a raise since Congress last increased the national rate.
NEWS
July 5, 2006
RE YOUR EDITORIAL on the minimum wage and the debate on whether it should be raised: I hear all the time about how raising the minimum wage will hurt the people it is intended to help. Why is it that when union members get a raise, when state legislators give themselves a pay raise in the middle of the night, federal officials vote themselves a raise, CEOs (think Exxon-Mobil) and all other workers get a raise, the economy and minimum-wage workers are not adversely affected? But when people living in poverty are given pay raises, the economy and these workers suffer?
BUSINESS
April 10, 1988 | By Robert A. Rankin, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Ask any worker earning the minimum wage if he or she would like a pay raise, and odds are good the answer will be yes. After all, at $3.35 an hour - $134 a week, $6,968 a year - the federal minimum wage isn't much. And because it hasn't been raised since January 1981, inflation has eroded its buying power by 30 percent. Ask the same worker if he or she would like to be fired or have work hours cut back, however, and the answer probably will be no. But the worker can't have the raise without risking the loss.
NEWS
February 13, 2008 | By CHRISTINE M. TARTAGLIONE
WHEN THE clock expired at the end of the Super Bowl, a lot of so-called experts turned out to be wrong. The game is played on the field, and that often has a funny way of defying ill-placed prediction. Overshadowed perhaps by football, but even more important to millions of Pennsylvanians, was the January debunking of forecasts by experts even more certain than football commentators. Two years ago, during an intense debate over Pennsylvania's eroding minimum wage, the big-business lobby and some misled lawmakers were touting the work of a Florida economist who had supposedly studied Pennsylvania's labor market and come to the conclusion that adjusting the minimum wage for inflation would be disastrous for low-wage workers.
NEWS
March 3, 2008
STATE SEN. Tina Tartaglione is to be commended for her commitment to helping low-wage workers. But her plan to have government dictate to business that each year it must pay workers more, regardless of a business' ability to do so, would actually further limit hiring opportunities for these workers. Unfortunately, supporters of a minimum wage cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) fail to realize this because they refuse to acknowledge that the recent minimum-wage hike had any negative impact.
NEWS
September 22, 1988 | By Kitty Dumas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Officers of the Oxford Circle Civic Association urged members to attend a rally at state Sen. Hank Salvatore's office next Thursday to show support for a bill raising the minimum wage and to protest the senator's vote on the measure. Joan Somers, the association's director of community affairs, said Tuesday night that the state Senate recently voted 25-24 against raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.65 an hour over the next three years. She said that Salvatore voted against the measure, which already had passed in the House.
NEWS
November 11, 1998 | By Matthew Miller
The big progressive issue of campaign 2000 was previewed in Washington state Nov. 3, but no one in the rest of the country noticed. By a 68 percent majority, voters approved an initiative that hikes the minimum wage to $6.50 an hour by 2000, and then - for the first time ever - indexes it to rise each year with the cost of living. If ever there was an idea whose time has come, this is it. Inflation has eroded the minimum wage to the point where even 1996's two-step federal "increase" to $5.15 has left that wage with less purchasing power than it had in the late 1970s.
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NEWS
April 14, 2015 | By Sarai Flores, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Philadelphia clergy members visited the McDonald's restaurant at Broad and Arch Streets on Sunday afternoon with a group of activists, blessed the hands of a restaurant employee, and spoke about "God's call for economic justice. " The surprise showing was part of the organization POWER's effort to have the minimum working wage raised to $15 an hour and improve working conditions for low-wage employees. The clergy members used olive oil Sunday to anoint the hands of a McDonald's employee and two other fast-food workers as a prelude to a national walkout scheduled for Wednesday to protest the need for a higher minimum wage.
NEWS
April 11, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chester County Republican leaders railed Friday against Gov. Wolf's budget proposal, saying that it would force four-fifths of the school districts statewide to pay more and that county residents would have to shell out $177 million more in new taxes than they might save in property-tax relief. Gathering at the county courthouse in West Chester, the state and county representatives said they might be willing to consider one aspect of Wolf's plan - a severance tax on natural gas drilling that he has said could generate $1 billion for public schools.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | By Sarai Flores, Inquirer Staff Writer
Demonstrators in North Philadelphia on Saturday marked the 47th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with demands for a $15 minimum wage. Sharon Sobukwe, a political science professor at Eastern University, told more than 100 people gathered before the march that the poverty rate in the United States has been reduced to 15 percent, but that still means "there are 45 million people living in poverty. " Among African Americans, she said, the poverty rate is 28 percent.
NEWS
March 28, 2015 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $5.5 million in back wages for New Jersey gas station attendants who were not paid the required minimum wage or overtime in the last five years. "Our investigations of the New Jersey gas station industry found widespread violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping provisions," Mark Watson, the regional head of the department's Wage and Hour Division, said in a news release. From the 2010 to 2014 fiscal years, the Labor Department has run a "multiyear enforcement initiative" that led to back wages and damages awarded to more than 1,100 employees, the department said Thursday.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Philadelphia mayoral candidates were pressed Saturday to take positions on progressive policies such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, publicly funding campaigns, and ending "stop and frisk. " At a Center City forum hosted by Pennsylvania Working Families, a political group made up mostly of union and liberal activists, four of the six declared mayoral candidates gave some indication of how far left they would go as mayor. Former Councilman James F. Kenney, former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz, and State Sen. Anthony H. Williams said they supported a $15 minimum wage.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Advocates of a $15 minimum wage pleaded their case to Philadelphia City Council Wednesday, hoping to lay the groundwork for a challenge to a state law that bars municipalities from setting minimum wages. "Most of Philadelphia is in a state of emergency," the Rev. Gregory Holston testified before Council and about 100 supporters who filled the gallery. "If we're going to really address the poverty we're facing, all of us, leaders in government and City Council leaders and the mayor and anybody who wants to be mayor, have to address the issue.
NEWS
March 5, 2015
GOV. WOLF'S plans for Pennsylvania are a little like plans for a one-way trip to Mars. Not everybody's ready to sign up. Bold? Sure. Forward-looking? You bet. But like that Mars-or-bust business, pretty expensive, extremely ambitious and unlikely to fly. This is not to say Democrat Wolf's big ideas are bad: Cut the wage tax, cut property taxes, raise the minimum wage, cut business taxes and freeze tuition at state universities. And surely these plans meet Democrat Wolf's favorite self-describing adjective: "different.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Melody Schofield is done with it. Done with private lap dances in the Champagne Room at Delilah's Den, where everyone knew her as Coco. Done with dancing half-naked on a bar stage. Done with paying to work - as much as $85 for a "house fee," due to Delilah's management at the start of every shift. "I was tired of it," she said. "I felt like it was time to go. " Except for one detail. She's not done with not getting paid, she said, and that's why Schofield, 26, of Philadelphia, last month put her name on the top of a potential class-action lawsuit filed in Common Pleas Court against Delilah's Den. "I think it's really unfair that they weren't compensating us for our time," Schofield said.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will likely hear a proposal for a broad-based tax increase when Gov. Wolf proposes his first budget next week. After meeting with business leaders Tuesday, Wolf declined to discuss details of his plan but would not rule out a graduated income tax targeting high-income brackets, a structure he has touted in the past. "What I talked about was a fairer tax system. I do intend to present that," he said. "This is a chance for a reset. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will be pleased with what I propose.
NEWS
January 24, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Thursday that he wants to see Philadelphia's universities give more to its struggling school system - and not just to schools in their shadows. Clarke, speaking on the first day of a new Council session, did not offer specifics, but said conversations were taking place to "formalize" how universities support local schools. "My preference is actually having them commit the resources, be it in personnel support, be it real hard dollars, or be it in other initiatives," he said.
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