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.
March 5, 2015
GOV. WOLF'S plans for Pennsylvania are a little like plans for a one-way trip to Mars. Not everybody's ready to sign up. Bold? Sure. Forward-looking? You bet. But like that Mars-or-bust business, pretty expensive, extremely ambitious and unlikely to fly. This is not to say Democrat Wolf's big ideas are bad: Cut the wage tax, cut property taxes, raise the minimum wage, cut business taxes and freeze tuition at state universities. And surely these plans meet Democrat Wolf's favorite self-describing adjective: "different.
March 4, 2015 |
Melody Schofield is done with it. Done with private lap dances in the Champagne Room at Delilah's Den, where everyone knew her as Coco. Done with dancing half-naked on a bar stage. Done with paying to work - as much as $85 for a "house fee," due to Delilah's management at the start of every shift. "I was tired of it," she said. "I felt like it was time to go. " Except for one detail. She's not done with not getting paid, she said, and that's why Schofield, 26, of Philadelphia, last month put her name on the top of a potential class-action lawsuit filed in Common Pleas Court against Delilah's Den. "I think it's really unfair that they weren't compensating us for our time," Schofield said.
February 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will likely hear a proposal for a broad-based tax increase when Gov. Wolf proposes his first budget next week. After meeting with business leaders Tuesday, Wolf declined to discuss details of his plan but would not rule out a graduated income tax targeting high-income brackets, a structure he has touted in the past. "What I talked about was a fairer tax system. I do intend to present that," he said. "This is a chance for a reset. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will be pleased with what I propose.
January 24, 2015 |
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Thursday that he wants to see Philadelphia's universities give more to its struggling school system - and not just to schools in their shadows. Clarke, speaking on the first day of a new Council session, did not offer specifics, but said conversations were taking place to "formalize" how universities support local schools. "My preference is actually having them commit the resources, be it in personnel support, be it real hard dollars, or be it in other initiatives," he said.
January 21, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The halls of the Capitol were dark Monday, and most offices were locked. The only signs inside of a looming change were bags of shredded paper. Outside, workers readied grandstands. At noon Tuesday, Democrat Tom Wolf, the York businessman and former state revenue secretary, will become the state's 47th governor. He arrives facing a projected $2.3 billion budget shortfall and a Republican-dominated legislature that has shown no signs it will quickly embrace his priorities.
January 2, 2015 |
Even as New Jersey prepares to raise its minimum wage by 13 cents, economists and business groups are still sorting out the impact of the $1 hike in 2014. Groups that opposed last year's increase to $8.25 argue that the extent of its harm cannot yet be determined - in part because the wage will keep rising. A boost to $8.38 takes effect on New Year's Day, thanks to a now-automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment that voters approved in 2013. Those in favor of the higher wage say it appears to have done little damage to the state's economy - and has possibly benefited it, with low-income workers believed to be spending the extra money in their paychecks.