May 16, 2005
IN HIS MAY 12 letter, David Lee asks why the local minimum-wage legislation does not cover all Philadelphians. The simple answer is that City Council does not have the authority to raise the minimum wage across the board in Philadelphia. That's why I am joining the lobby to raise the state minimum wage to create the maximum benefit for Philadelphia's working poor. I applaud Mr. Lee's compassion for the low-income citizens of this city. We must band together to lobby the state Legislature to raise the state minimum wage.
June 30, 2003 |
When President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act on June 25, 1938, during the Great Depression, he wanted to assure workers "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. " On the 65th anniversary of the federal minimum wage, Roosevelt's new deal has become a raw deal. Roosevelt knew that to stimulate the economy, you boost workers and their families, you don't pile on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. For decades, the minimum wage and worker productivity rose together.
January 25, 1995 |
Keith Mahone, who works at $4.25 an hour for a firm that cleans public schools in Baltimore, is puzzled that there should be any argument over President Clinton's proposal to raise the minimum wage. "Four-twenty-five is not enough money for anybody to do anything with," said Mahone, 35. "It takes you a couple of weeks of work just to pay one bill. The only thing $4.25 is enough for is for you to eat. " President Clinton last night agreed in the State of the Union address: "The plain fact is, you can't make a living on $4.25 an hour, especially if you have kids to support.
January 31, 2013
A quarter? Really? That's all Gov. Christie has offered the working poor: a 25-cent-an-hour increase in New Jersey's minimum wage, followed by three more quarters over three years, eventually raising the rate from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour. That's chump change for people who haven't had a raise since 2005. The cost of living in New Jersey is 27.6 percent higher than the national average, according to a 2008 report by the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission. But the Garden State is not one of the 19 states where the minimum wage exceeds the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.
June 24, 2006 |
The minimum-wage-increase bill that passed the Pennsylvania Senate late Thursday evokes ambivalence as well as opposition among Philadelphia-area business operators. The bill would raise the state minimum wage to $7.15 an hour next year but would delay implementation of the new wage for businesses with fewer than 10 employees until 2008. It now goes to the House for crafting into a compromise bill. "When you raise it to $7.15, that's going to hurt. We're going to have to raise prices on the menu," warned Michael Petrogiannis, who operates eight restaurants and diners in the Philadelphia area.
October 3, 2005 |
It wasn't a corporate executive who said, "Right now Pennsylvania businesses carry a very high tax burden compared to states we compete with. We're [a] very heavily taxed business state. . . . To raise the minimum wage in just Pennsylvania, particularly for small businesses, would add another premium for doing business in the state. " It was Ed Rendell in May 2002, campaigning to be governor of Pennsylvania. Now the political winds have shifted, and Rendell has turned what he knows to be a job-killer into a top priority.
February 3, 2005 |
A few months ago, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have increased his state's minimum wage. He said at the time, "Now is not the time to create barriers to our economic recovery or reverse the momentum we have generated. " The wisdom of those words was not heard in Albany, where on Dec. 6 the New York legislature voted to increase the state's minimum wage to $7.15 by 2007. It is now reported that Trenton also has not listened to California's business-friendly advice.
July 21, 2001
Raise the minimum wage At a time of unprecedented prosperity, a fair increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. Our elected leaders should act as quickly as possible to pass an increase that reflects the losses suffered by minimum wage workers as the result of our shameful inaction in the past. Minimum-wage employees working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, earn only $10,700 a year, nearly $4,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. A full-time minimum-wage worker does not even earn enough to maintain a two-person family above the poverty threshold.
October 11, 2005 |
MY BROTHER and I are close, even though we have followed very different paths as adults. He lives in Bucks County; I live in our old neighborhood in Philadelphia. He owns a factory in Trenton that makes rubber products; I direct a foundation here that supports social justice activism. A decade ago, he asked my advice about a human-resource issue at his company. For the sake of family unity, I vowed never to talk with him about the subject again. But I was too curious about his reaction to New Jersey's decision to raise its minimum wage not to ask his opinion.
July 2, 2006 |
For the first time in a decade, a bill raising the state minimum wage is a pen stroke away from becoming law. After being batted back and forth between the two legislative chambers for months, a measure increasing the minimum wage to $7.15 an hour cleared the Senate yesterday in a bipartisan 38-12 vote, after overwhelmingly passing the House on Friday. Most workers will see the pay boost in stages, receiving the full amount by July 1, 2007. Rendell said in a statement that he will sign the legislation this week, making Pennsylvania the 21st state to increase its minimum wage above the federal minimum hourly rate of $5.15.