September 2, 2013 |
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.
August 31, 2013 |
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.
August 28, 2013 |
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.
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.