June 5, 2015 |
SARINA SANTOS can't remember the last time she could afford to take her family out to dinner. What's fresh in her mind is the day, three weeks ago, when she was fired from her job as a baggage handler at Philadelphia International Airport. As a baggage handler, Santos was employed by PrimeFlight Aviation Services, a Nashville-based company that provides baggage handling, aircraft and terminal services to more than 40 airports across the country. Santos said she was fired from PrimeFlight on May 5 because she fought for higher wages - employees currently earn $7.25 per hour, which is below the city's minimum wage of $12. Her attendance, which she had been previously warned about, was cited by supervisors as the reason for her dismissal, she said.
May 29, 2015
YOU PROBABLY missed it. The TV news gave little if any news coverage to the presidential campaign announcement of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ("Hey, we have 'serious' candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz to deal with," I'm guessing they'd say) but the speech was definitely an organic barnburner live from Ben-and-Jerry-land. Sanders wasn't more than a minute or two into it when he belted out what should become his campaign motto: "Today, we stand here and say loudly and clearly that: Enough is enough.
May 16, 2015 |
The $15 minimum wage movement received a boost Thursday when a member of City Council introduced a bill to put the issue before Philadelphia voters in November. The measure, if approved by Council and Mayor Nutter and passed by voters, is nonbinding: It only calls on city and state officials to pass a $15 minimum wage. But advocates say it would gauge support, place pressure on Harrisburg, and lay groundwork for a court battle should the city challenge the presumption that only the state can set a minimum wage.
April 16, 2015 |
Thousands of fast-food burger-flippers, Wal-Mart cashiers, home-care providers, adjunct professors, and airport workers on Wednesday will push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage in marches around the nation and in Philadelphia. The effort - part of a drive since 2012 by the Service Employees International Union - will include a march on Broad Street and a rally at 30th Street and the Schuylkill. That's just on Wednesday. On Tuesday, trending online was the case of Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, a Seattle credit-card processing firm, who told workers their minimum wage would be raised to $70,000 a year, or $33.65 an hour - for everyone, even low-paid clerks.
April 14, 2015 |
Two Philadelphia clergy members visited the McDonald's restaurant at Broad and Arch Streets on Sunday afternoon with a group of activists, blessed the hands of a restaurant employee, and spoke about "God's call for economic justice. " The surprise showing was part of the organization POWER's effort to have the minimum working wage raised to $15 an hour and improve working conditions for low-wage employees. The clergy members used olive oil Sunday to anoint the hands of a McDonald's employee and two other fast-food workers as a prelude to a national walkout scheduled for Wednesday to protest the need for a higher minimum wage.
April 11, 2015 |
Chester County Republican leaders railed Friday against Gov. Wolf's budget proposal, saying that it would force four-fifths of the school districts statewide to pay more and that county residents would have to shell out $177 million more in new taxes than they might save in property-tax relief. Gathering at the county courthouse in West Chester, the state and county representatives said they might be willing to consider one aspect of Wolf's plan - a severance tax on natural gas drilling that he has said could generate $1 billion for public schools.
April 6, 2015 |
Demonstrators in North Philadelphia on Saturday marked the 47th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with demands for a $15 minimum wage. Sharon Sobukwe, a political science professor at Eastern University, told more than 100 people gathered before the march that the poverty rate in the United States has been reduced to 15 percent, but that still means "there are 45 million people living in poverty. " Among African Americans, she said, the poverty rate is 28 percent.
March 28, 2015 |
The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $5.5 million in back wages for New Jersey gas station attendants who were not paid the required minimum wage or overtime in the last five years. "Our investigations of the New Jersey gas station industry found widespread violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping provisions," Mark Watson, the regional head of the department's Wage and Hour Division, said in a news release. From the 2010 to 2014 fiscal years, the Labor Department has run a "multiyear enforcement initiative" that led to back wages and damages awarded to more than 1,100 employees, the department said Thursday.
March 9, 2015 |
Philadelphia mayoral candidates were pressed Saturday to take positions on progressive policies such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, publicly funding campaigns, and ending "stop and frisk. " At a Center City forum hosted by Pennsylvania Working Families, a political group made up mostly of union and liberal activists, four of the six declared mayoral candidates gave some indication of how far left they would go as mayor. Former Councilman James F. Kenney, former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz, and State Sen. Anthony H. Williams said they supported a $15 minimum wage.
March 6, 2015 |
Advocates of a $15 minimum wage pleaded their case to Philadelphia City Council Wednesday, hoping to lay the groundwork for a challenge to a state law that bars municipalities from setting minimum wages. "Most of Philadelphia is in a state of emergency," the Rev. Gregory Holston testified before Council and about 100 supporters who filled the gallery. "If we're going to really address the poverty we're facing, all of us, leaders in government and City Council leaders and the mayor and anybody who wants to be mayor, have to address the issue.