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NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The low-paid airport workers who cheered when Mayor Nutter signed an executive order in May that extended minimum wage benefits to subcontractors such as them are not cheering anymore. Three weeks have passed since the mayor's order, applying the $10.88 minimum wage requirement to subcontractors, went into effect. But the paychecks of many of those airport workers still reflect $7.50 hourly wages. The order applies to any bids or proposals issued after May 20, and starting Jan. 1, all proposals and contracts will include a $12-an-hour minimum wage requirement.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA moved Monday to impose management's terms in a long-running labor dispute with Regional Rail workers, which union leaders said could prompt a strike that would halt all commuter rail service at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. SEPTA's goal apparently is to risk a strike now, when ridership is lower, than next winter, when more commuters and students rely on the system. Regional Rail trains carry about 126,000 riders a day. "We need to get an agreement now," SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said Monday.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
An arbitrator ruled that nine part-time city recreation workers who were fired last year for double-dipping in government salaries must be reinstated and awarded back pay. In December, Inspector General Amy Kurland found that 13 part-time recreation leaders had violated the city's dual government jobs ban by working for other agencies while on the city payroll. They included 10 full-time teachers, two U.S. Postal Service workers, and an investigator for the state Attorney General's Office.
NEWS
June 3, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Avon Grove School District plans to outsource its 26 custodian jobs next school year as part of a cost-saving plan, and longtime workers who will lose pensions and some benefits - and maybe their jobs - are angry. Within the next 15 years, most school districts facing tightening budgets are likely to outsource services that do not directly educate students, said Joseph O'Brien, executive director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit, which serves Chester County's 12 school districts and is brokering Avon Grove's outsourcing.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Whether the bulletproof-vested attendees at the Convention Center's National Homeland Security Conference last week knew it or not, their organization was paying $152.25 an hour per union rigger - the workers who set up heavy convention equipment. But how much were the riggers earning? They made $35.11 an hour - $59.70 with health insurance, pension, and union dues rolled in. On wages only, the $152.25 rate represents a quadruple-plus markup. On the total package, it's 2.5 times.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Michael F. Newell Jr., 93, of Westmont, a career salesman in Philadelphia, worked in Catholic ministries in his spare time for decades. "Four of his sisters were nuns and one of his brothers was a Jesuit priest," Mr. Newell's son, Stephen, said. "His whole family was very involved in serving in the Catholic Church. " On Monday, May 19, Mr. Newell died at Kennedy University Hospital in Stratford. On Tuesday evening, his passing was marked in an unusual setting, said a friend, Jack Callahan, a member since 1996 of the New Jersey Governor's Advisory Council on Volunteerism and Community Service.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Mikhail Zubialevich, a federal defendant accused of making a false statement to investigators, had pleaded guilty. He entered a not guilty plea at a court hearing Wednesday. The disturbance of a peregrine falcon nest under the Girard Point Bridge has led to criminal charges against three members of a bridge repair crew accused of covering up harm they inflicted on the threatened animals, prosecutors said Wednesday. The men, who worked for the Philadelphia company Liberty Maintenance and the Maryland firm Alpha Painting, are charged with conspiracy, witness tampering, and harboring an alien in connection with the 2011 project to refurbish the bridge.
NEWS
May 21, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
The co-owners of a Delaware County electrical company were charged Monday with failing to make almost $275,000 in health-care, pension, and other payments to their unionized employees - though records show the funds were available. Donald Kirk, 66, of Cape May, and John Parks, 69, of Garnet Valley, co-owners of Rite-Way Electric and an affiliated company, Rite-Way Construction, in Chester Township, were charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, theft by unlawful taking of disposition, and receiving stolen property.
NEWS
May 18, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER front-desk night worker in Kermit Gosnell's West Philadelphia abortion clinic was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 2 1/2 years in prison for her role in the illegal "pill-mill" case. Lynda Williams, 45, had collected money and accepted tips in return for handing out illegal prescriptions for addictive painkillers. She pleaded guilty in July 2012 to distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy. Williams, most recently of Wilmington, Del., faces another sentencing Wednesday in Common Pleas Court on the more macabre aspects of the operations in Gosnell's former abortion clinic, the Women's Medical Society.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia fast-food workers and activists joined protests Thursday in what was billed as a global fast-food strike, with workers in 150 cities and 30 countries reportedly participating. It was Philadelphia's first official participation in a fast-food strike, although there have been strikes in Wilmington and rallies in the city on the issue of raising wages for fast-food workers to $15 an hour. Industry associations say raising wages would force restaurant owners to cut positions or hours.
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