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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
December 13, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
In its final scheduled meeting of 2014, Philadelphia City Council focused on a flurry of measures to aid the city's blue-collar workers, including a past failed proposal - mandatory paid sick leave - and a new and controversial one calling for a citywide minimum wage. Council also approved legislation to support workers at Philadelphia International Airport, where contract staff staged a walkout last month. More than a dozen airport employees in red shirts packed the Council chamber Thursday, joined by another group advocating a minimum wage.
NEWS
December 11, 2014
ISSUE | FERGUSON, MO. Call for backup Since when is the absolute guarantee of a conviction the basis for deciding whether to charge an individual with a crime ("Close read shows the Ferguson grand jury got it right," Dec. 7)? That would seem to be Currents columnist Michael Smerconish's conclusion in defending the prosecutor's decision not to bring charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, but it skirts the very issue Smerconish portends to address.
NEWS
December 10, 2014
IN AN IDEAL world, all workers would get paid a living wage and get employer-provided health care, sick leave and a retirement plan. But, this is not France. We live in America, the land of the free - where employers are free to offer low-wage jobs without benefits. The old theory of a rising tide lifting all boats doesn't apply in this case. As the economy has climbed out of the recession, the data tell us that the rich are getting richer while the poor are still underwater.
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
November 17, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Even with 3 percent growth last quarter and unemployment at 5.8 percent, the lowest rate since the summer of 2008, Americans still worry about the economy, and with good reason. While available jobs have increased at the top and the bottom of the pay scale, not much is happening in between. The country's vast middle class is also treading stagnant water when it comes to wages, which grew an average of 2 percent over the last year, barely outpacing the 1.7 percent inflation rate. Exit polls during the recent midterm elections showed that 78 percent of voters were troubled by the economy's direction, with two-thirds saying it's getting worse.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Struggling to keep her tears under control, Cleotilde Tiacopilco described a day on the job at Olympic Linen & Laundry Service in Lansdowne: Start at 8 a.m., clean 5,000 napkins, put them in a machine, then count and pack them. Finish by 6 p.m., then spend the next hour or so cleaning the office and the bathroom. Her pay over 12 years? No overtime and $5 an hour until November 2013, when she got a raise to $6.50, she said at a news conference held in City Hall on Thursday to announce the filing of a wage-and-hour lawsuit against the company.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Thursday stood by comments earlier this week - criticized by Democrats - that he was "tired" of efforts to raise the minimum wage. "I'm going to be very clear, and I'll say it again: I do not think parents in this country are sitting around the kitchen table saying to themselves that their lives would be better if their children could only make a higher minimum wage," Christie told reporters during a campaign stop with Republican congressional candidate Tom MacArthur at Mastoris Diner in Bordentown.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
State Rep. Brendan Boyle has made the growing gap between the rich and the rest a fitting centerpiece of his campaign to represent the 13th Congressional District, a mostly middle-class area with pockets of poverty spanning parts of Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County. The 37-year-old Philadelphia Democrat advocates raising the minimum wage to help the working poor and increasing taxation of passive income such as stocks and bonds, noting that wage earners pay higher effective rates than investors.
NEWS
October 3, 2014 | BY DARRELL L. CLARKE
  AS RECENTLY cited in the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Philadelphia is still the "poorest of America's 10 largest cities. " While the report showed that 9,000 residents moved out of poverty last year, and that is encouraging, it's hard to take any comfort when so many of our fellow citizens remain in poverty, many of them children and elderly. Over the last 20 years we have witnessed growth in the gap between the haves and have nots and the squeezing of the middle class.
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