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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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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 21, 2016
By Dan White Pennsylvania, like most of the United States, has a problem. Paychecks have not come back from the Great Recession as strongly as they have following other downturns. American workers' wages and salaries took longer to regain their previous, inflation-adjusted peaks after the Great Recession than after any other recession since World War II. This is especially true in the commonwealth, where wages and salaries grew less than three-quarters of the national rate last year.
BUSINESS
April 16, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
It couldn't have been a nicer day for a protest Thursday, as activists - fast-food and home health workers seeking a raise, the Sierra Club, Temple students opposing a stadium, and community people against stop-and-frisk, - marched down Broad Street, banging drums, carrying banners, and shouting slogans. "This is what democracy looks like," hundreds yelled as they walked toward the day's largest rally, at Broad and Arch Streets. Police closed Broad Street. Among those leading the parade was Shymara Jones, 23, of Philadelphia, a Popeyes employee who has been pushing for a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers since the national movement kicked off in Philadelphia two years ago. She earns $8.25 an hour, up from $7.25, Pennsylvania's minimum wage, mirroring the national rate.
NEWS
April 6, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE A boost for Pa. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry sheds crocodile tears for low-wage workers every time the minimum wage comes up ("Raises will cost jobs," Thursday). Studies have found that there is no negative impact on jobs following modest increases in the minimum wage; the Congressional Budget Office estimates a range of "a very slight reduction" to one million jobs lost nationally with a minimum-wage increase to $10.10 an hour. However, such an increase would mean: More than 1.2 million workers in Pennsylvania would receive raises; $1.9 billion in new wages would go into the state economy; $225 million in new revenues would be generated for the state budget, which is in great need of funds to support our schools and close massive deficits.
BUSINESS
March 24, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
Even as the job market tightens and unemployment declines, the recent recession has yet another blow to deliver to the labor economy - one that may not be felt for several years. "We may not be able to provide a good number of jobs for highly skilled people," said economist Efua Afful at Moody's Analytics in West Chester. That is because research-and-development investment, which leads to innovation and employment for highly skilled workers, plummeted during the recession and has yet to rebound, she said.
NEWS
March 23, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Creative destruction Ride-sharing companies like Uber are similar to direct marketing companies like Avon. Their "representatives" (in this case drivers) are self-employed individuals who earn commissions based entirely on how many hours they freely choose to work; they are not employees. To talk about their having the right to join a union or be paid a minimum wage is absurd. Most drivers treat ride-sharing as part-time work to supplement their income and may also enjoy the social contact and fun of doing something entirely different.
NEWS
March 22, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE Increases are needed The Jewish Social Policy Action Network applauds Gov. Wolf for increasing the minimum wage of state workers and those on contract with the state to $10.15 an hour ("Wolf raises state workers' minimum wage," March 8). An across-the-board increase for all workers in the state would be even more laudable. Even $10.15 is inadequate. In a 40-hour workweek, gross salaries would top out at $406 a week. A 2014 survey by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that minimum-wage workers in Pennsylvania (making $7.25 an hour)
NEWS
March 22, 2016
The public outcry 11 years ago after Pennsylvania legislators met to give themselves a pay raise in the dead of night included complaints that the state's minimum wage had not been raised since 1995. Ironically, 1995 was also when legislators voted to give themselves annual cost-of-living increases, which have helped boost their current salaries to $85,340 annually. That's about $32,000 above the median income in the state and more than five times what minimum-wage workers are paid.
NEWS
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Leaders, shun Uber Consider how many of Philadelphia's progressive Democrtats and elected officials oppose discriminatory practices, want companies to pay at least the minimum wage, believe multinational corporations have too much power, and support the right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Then consider how many of those people support the ride-sharing services UberX, Uber Pool, and Lyft. Here are some facts about Uber and Lyft: They are multinational corporations.
NEWS
March 11, 2016
NOT MANY would ever accuse Pennsylvania of being a progressive state - either politically or practically. On measures such as funding for education, safety-net spending, tax policy and other points, we often end up in the bottom half of national lists. But this week, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order to increase the minimum wage for state workers from the state minimum of $7.25 to $10.15 an hour. This is progress, plain and simple. Predictably, some Republican lawmakers and conservative thinkers criticized the move, saying that the state can't afford the price tag for moving people from $7.25-an-hour poverty wages.
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