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Minimum Wage

NEWS
September 6, 2013
AFTER Terrance Wise walked off the job to protest his pay a few weeks ago, he was offered a promotion and a raise. He could have moved up to a manager's role at his Burger King, one of two fast-food jobs he works, Wise said. The promotion would have come with a measly 20-cents-an-hour raise, bringing his hourly pay to $9.45. Wise turned down the offer. Last Thursday, the father of three skipped work again and joined more than 300 fast-food workers and their supporters in rallies and marches at different locations around Kansas City and in 60 cities around the country, calling for better pay and benefits.
NEWS
September 3, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
  On Labor Day - and every day - everyone wants a raise. So on Thursday, fast-food workers in Wilmington and around the nation went on strike for $15-an-hour pay. A week ago, advocates gathered in New Jersey to rally in support of passing the state's minimum-wage referendum. And on Monday, Labor Day, Philadelphia skycaps will march in the city's Labor Day parade after restaurant workers dish out ice cream, both promoting a push for higher wages. These campaigns also provide a glimpse of what is either labor's future strategy, or its back-to-the-future strategy, at a time when unions are increasingly marginalized.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
As strikes go, this one was more symbol than shutdown. The Burger King on U.S. 202 in Wilmington, in my neighborhood, was one of the fast-food outlets hit by a national mini-walkout and picketing backed by the Service Employees International Union . SEIU held a pre-Labor Day "action," pushing for higher wages for the army of workers who pack and sell fast-food sandwiches, drinks, fries, and snacks in factory-like conditions. The strikers want to double the minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, as my colleague Jane Von Bergen reported.
NEWS
September 2, 2013 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Some top Democrats on Friday called for an increase in New Jersey's minimum wage and warned that a Republican takeover in November's elections could transform the state into a so-called right-to-work state. "Elections have very, very serious consequences," state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) told a gathering of more than 100 Democrats and union leaders at the 119th annual Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Observance in Collingswood. He noted that Gov. Christie has vetoed measures to tie the minimum wage to the consumer price index, fund women's health care, and legalize same-sex marriage.
NEWS
September 2, 2013 | By Michael Campbell, For The Inquirer
Will low-income Pennsylvanians be tempted to overstate their income to the IRS in order to afford health insurance? The state's rejection of Medicaid expansion for its poorest citizens creates this perverse incentive. The Affordable Care Act was set up to provide free Medicaid to more poor Americans. It also offers premium subsidies on a sliding scale for the uninsured with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. These subsidies are tax credits the IRS will pay in advance to health insurers for qualifying individuals.
NEWS
August 28, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers, local officials, and labor and women's rights leaders, citing a need to support working women, called Monday for raising the state's minimum wage. On the anniversary of women getting the right to vote, female leaders and Democratic lawmakers - including gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono - supported a proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25, with annual increases tied to inflation. Voters will decide on the increase Nov. 5. Speakers at a Statehouse news conference said the measure would help women, who make up 60 percent of the state's minimum-wage earners, achieve economic equality.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
July 22, 2013 | By Robert W. Patterson
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.
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