December 29, 2015
ISSUE | WORKERS' RIGHTS A difference maker I was pleased to read about John Dodds and his continuing work at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project ("A veteran of Pa. wage fight soldiers on," Dec. 20). In 1981, my employer closed without notice, leaving several dozen of us suddenly unemployed. We learned that there were no laws requiring any type of advance notice or severance pay. The economy had soured, inflation was rampant, and jobs were scarce. My wife found the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and John Dodds.
December 21, 2015 |
Editor's note: This article previously misidentified Dodds' second wife. She is Carol Rogers and heads Healthy Philadelphia. The workers' revolution hasn't arrived at a sad strip shopping center in the tired upstate Pennsylvania town of Dallas, where Republican State Sen. Lisa Baker has her office. Instead, John Dodds, one of the state's longest-working champions of causes involving the poor - minimum wage, health care, foreclosure, unemployment benefits - is tucking leaflets under windshield wipers in the parking lot with a not-so-stirring message: "Call Sen. Baker and ask her to report a $10.10/hour minimum wage bill out of her committee.
March 2, 2015 |
Out in the casino diaspora, the workers from Atlantic City tend to want to keep a low profile. They know how it can turn out, turn sour, end abruptly. Those who lost jobs - some 8,000 in 2014 - or saw the writing on the wall in Atlantic City and were able to find work elsewhere have moved on. When necessary, they also have moved, sometimes leaving their families in New Jersey. They're now at casinos in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, Connecticut, Las Vegas, Detroit, even Wisconsin.
January 5, 2015 |
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Last year started out bad and only got worse for Jose and Karla Mercado. Both worked at the Atlantic Club and lost their kitchen jobs last January when the casino became the first of four in Atlantic City to close. They're still out of work, and with their unemployment benefits and food stamps exhausted, and their savings nearly depleted, their only relief comes from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's branch here in Egg Harbor Township. The Mercados are among 8,000 South Jersey families stung by the casino layoffs that the center, a nondescript yellow building at 6735 Black Horse Pike, is assisting.
September 5, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Onegdu Gomez was among the 850 newly out-of-work casino workers who came Wednesday morning to the opening of the Atlantic City Unite Here Center at the Atlantic City Convention Center. She left as pleased as she could be, given that she had lost her job three days ago. "They fixed everything," Gomez, who lives in Pleasantville, said of her experience signing up for unemployment benefits. She worked as a housekeeper at Showboat for eight years and said she intended to look for another job in the same field.
August 3, 2014 |
U.S. payrolls grew by 209,000 jobs in July - less than expected, but still enough to begin to erase the jobs deficit created by the recession, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. Even the rising unemployment rate, which ticked up by a tenth of a point to 6.2 percent, is an indicator of growth. That's because, to count as unemployed, a jobless person must actively be seeking work. As employment prospects improve, some people who had been sitting on the sidelines may reenter the labor market and start sending out resumés, but may not immediately find work.
May 24, 2014
New Jersey's sprawling Second District, which includes all or part of eight southern counties, has been hobbled by high unemployment and a suffering tourism industry. Those issues only heighten the importance of next month's primary to choose its candidates for Congress. For Republican voters, the easy choice is the incumbent, FRANK LoBIONDO , who has served his district for 20 years. His opponent, Mike Assad, a former member of the Absecon Board of Education, isn't ready for this job. LoBiondo has proved his worthiness by refusing to let party labels keep him from working with Democrats to end the government shutdown and extend unemployment benefits.
April 12, 2014 |
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest point since the week of May 12, 2007, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday, and because this statistic can serve as a proxy for the economy, that sounds like good news. Such good news, in fact, that advocates for the unemployed worry that it will hurt their chances on Capitol Hill to push for an extension of extra federally funded jobless benefits. For the week ending April 5, 300,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits were filed, 32,000 fewer claims than the previous week.
April 4, 2014
NOW that the Supreme Court has loosened the spigot of money flowing to Congress and other elected officials in its McCutcheon decision this week, maybe we'll finally start getting really outraged at the callousness with which these lawmakers treat Americans. Case in point: the intractability of the House to consider renewing the unemployment benefits for the 2 million Americans who saw theirs expire last year. The Senate this week finally paved the way for a vote to approve renewal, but the House shows no sign of rushing to fix this; in fact, House Speaker John Boehner recently suggested it was too complicated for computers to handle the programming required to restore back payments.
March 9, 2014 |
Economists liked the U.S. Labor Department's Friday report on the nation's job situation, cheered by news that payrolls expanded by 175,000 in February and unfazed by a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent. In a Center City classroom, Deborah Weston of West Philadelphia was also optimistic. Laid off in July after 27 years at the same insurance company, Weston signed up for Step IT Up America, which promises jobs and paid training to African American women who want to get into information technology.