August 27, 2013
Enjoy the popcorn, and learn One of the most effective American history lessons is taking place these days in our movie theaters. Every American, and in particular young people, should experience the movie Lee Daniels' The Butler . It is so well-told and so well-acted by Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and others that it would make an excellent lesson for all young people studying the nation's history. As one who lived during much of what is depicted in the film, I think our educators should take note and make The Butler a lesson in their history classes.
August 8, 2013
AS CIVIL unrest goes, the United States isn't exactly becoming France, where it seems at least one group of workers goes on strike on a weekly basis. But a recent series of one-day strikes by fast-food workers in several cities around the United States protesting low wages should be considered a dramatic development in our labor history. It's also a timely one. The workers' actions have renewed focus on raising the $7.25-per-hour minimum wage, though the median pay for fast-food workers is $9.05.
July 22, 2013 |
As with many one-term presidents, the achievements of William Howard Taft get lost in the annals of history. Yet the 27th president should be remembered for establishing a conservative vision of American social policy that, lamentably, has been lost in recent decades. In 1912, after signing legislation establishing the U.S. Children's Bureau, the Republican president appointed Julia C. Lathrop as director, the first woman to head a government agency. The bureau's name said it all: The office was not about pampering adults or simply helping the poor, but focused upon "all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people.
June 30, 2013 |
Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost in New Jersey if the state's minimum wage increases, according to a study by a small-business coalition. The claim adds fuel to the debate over hiking the wage less than five months before voters determine the fate of a $1 increase and proposed indexing of the wage to inflation. The study by the National Federation of Independent Business says New Jersey could lose 31,000 jobs during the next decade if the changes are approved. The reason, according to the study, is that the wage hike and indexing would increase business costs.
June 17, 2013 |
All Natalie Gunshannon wanted was to be paid a fair wage for her work, she said. Gunshannon, 27, of Dallas Township, worked at McDonald's Restaurant on the Dallas Highway from April 24 to May 15. When she received her first paycheck, enclosed was a Chase Bank debit card with instructions on how to use it and the fees attached. Her future earnings would be deposited into the debit card account and she could access her money from there. Gunshannon never signed the card and when she returned to work she asked her supervisor if she could be paid by check or by direct deposit.
June 13, 2013 |
The city Law Department says the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter does not allow City Council to enforce minimum "living wage" requirements on Philadelphia International Airport subcontractors - only on businesses with direct city contracts. Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. said Tuesday he would introduce a charter-change amendment in Council on Thursday to clarify and extend the city's wage and benefits standard to employees of city subcontractors. The provision would enable Council to "require those who contract with the city or are recipients of city financial assistance to pass along the requirements of such an ordinance to subcontractors (at any tier)
May 21, 2013
By Mark Tyler and Thomas Higgins As an airport-lease agreement that will bind US Airways, the airport's major carrier, to a long-term contract is considered, Mayor Nutter and City Council should insist that Philadelphia's living-wage ordinance applies to the deal. By linking the ordinance and the agreement, which was introduced in Council last week and is expected to be heard before the Transportation and Utilities Committee Wednesday, the city would ensure that employers of city-contracted businesses are paid a family-sustaining minimum wage of at least 150 percent of the state's minimum wage - $10.88 an hour, plus benefits.
April 18, 2013 |
TRENTON - Legalizing same-sex marriage and increasing the minimum wage - two Democratic priorities this legislative session - continue to draw strong support from New Jersey residents, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. And although Republican Gov. Christie leads his most prominent challenger, State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), in his reelection bid, his popularity may not help GOP candidates in other races, said David Redlawsk, director of the poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University.
March 19, 2013 |
Three jobs are open at Rodon Group, the plastic-parts manufacturer in Hatfield. But CEO Michael Araten isn't sweating it. Rodon works with local community colleges to make sure students - the firm's prospective employees - get the math and computer skills they need to work at the company making plastic parts for products such as bed frames and machinery. "We're willing to look at non-traditional methods," Araten said. Companies across the country have been working short-handed because it's hard to find workers with the skills they need.
March 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House Streamlined employment programs. Voting 215-202, the House on Friday sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 803) to consolidate 35 federal programs for job training, adult education and literacy education into a single, broad-based workforce program to be administered by the states as they see fit rather than by Washington. The bill is a five-year renewal of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)