Tag Archives: minimum wage

#RaiseTheWage: Protesters Take on the NRA’s Opposition to the Minimum Wage

by Sean Kitchen, Raging Chicken Press, March 15, 2016

With the start of the 2016 budget season underway, raising the minimum wage has taken center stage. Governor Wolf touched raising the minimum wage during his blistering budget address to the General Assembly. He then signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for all state workers to $10.15 an hour, and then went on a statewide tour advocating for minimum wage increases. These gestures raised wages for roughly 450 state employees and sparked dialogue on an issue it that has not received a lot of legislative action.

A number of bills calling for increasing the wage were introduced in the House and Senate at the beginning of the 2015-2016 legislative session, but the issue has seen little action since the Senate Labor and Industry Committee hearing held last May. After Governor Wolf announced the wage increases for all state workers, Steven Miskin, top spokesman for House Republican leadership, told the Post Gazette that the “minimum wage is and was intended as a ‘starting’ wage or ‘training’ wage.” and that “it is and was never meant to serve as a ‘living’ wage.”

One of the main organizations opposing a minimum wage increase is the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, a trade organization that lobbies for the hospitality and tourism industry. The PRLA held their 28th annual lobby day on the hill, and hundreds of lobbyists and members from the organization descended onto the capitol….

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Raise the Wage

Raise the Wage

American workers are long overdue for a raise. The Raise the Wage Act, recently introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), is a strong and responsible plan to raise the minimum wage to $12, increase economic security for working families, and make sure workers across the country can count on wages that lift them and their families out of poverty….

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State of the Union / minimum wage

email from Jim Dean, 1/23/14

The president’s State of the Union speech is the most watched and analyzed speech of the year usually, yet they almost always end up being forgettable — lots of talk, but very little action. Wouldn’t it be great if President Obama could break some actual news at next Tuesday’s address?

What if I told you that he could? There is something President Obama could do right now to make life better for as many as two million low-wage workers — and there is nothing Republicans could do to stop it.  With one executive order, President Obama has the power to give preferential treatment to federal contractors who pay higher wages, giving a de facto minimum wage increase to hundreds of thousands of workers.

Last week, Obama told his cabinet that if Republicans keep obstructing legislation, he wouldn’t hesitate to take action without them: “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. And I’ll use that pen to sign executive orders and executive actions and administrative orders that will move the ball forward.”

So what are we waiting for? Now is the perfect time to take a big stand for American workers. And a joint session of Congress would be a great place to announce such a bold move.

Tell President Obama to announce in next Tuesday’s State of the Union speech that he is signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors.

Federal contractors employ hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers, from concession stand vendors to security detail to janitors in federal buildings, who would all benefit greatly from such an order. And a dramatic action like this would send ripples through the marketplace, building momentum for living wage fights across the country.

The President says he wants to focus on reviving the economy and closing the opportunity gap in next week’s big speech. I can’t think of a better way for him to make his words and his second term agenda resonate with everyday folks than proof that he is willing to take real, direct action to help workers who are struggling.

These low wage federal workers can’t keep on waiting — it is time for President Obama to get off the fence. Put his money where his mouth is. Use that pen.

Tell President Obama that we want this year’s State of the Union to be more than just words. Take action to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors now. 

Thank you for standing up for working families,

– Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

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McDonald’s: Low-Paid Workers, High-Flying Execs

by Jim Hightower, Nation of Change, 11/21/13

In this season of generosity, I’m sure that you get as much joy and deep internal satisfaction as I do just by knowing that we – all of us taxpayers together – contribute day-in and day-out to a very big global cause: Supersizing McDonald’s.

The world’s largest hamburger chain is a needy charity case, because without your and my generous tax support, the Big MacBosses in charge would have to pay a living wage to their 800,000-plus American workers. But, thanks to us, the $27 billion-a-year hamburger-flipping flim flammers can get away with paying poverty wages – then send their workforce to get food stamps, Medicaid, child welfare payments, public housing, and other tax-funded poverty benefits. This public subsidy of the Golden Arches adds up to a very golden $1.2 billion a year. What a creative business plan! Who says giant corporations aren’t enterprising?…

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See also, at the Hightower Lowdown for November 2013:

A rebellion of restaurant workers is challenging the deplorable low-wage ethic of the fast-food behemoths

By gollies, McDonald’s cares.
Despite being a corporate behemoth (more than 14,000 stores in the US, $27 billion a year in sales, $5.5 billion in profits and 860,000 employees), the world’s biggest burger chain has shown that it has a heart.

Earlier this year, the McChieftains high atop the hierarchy declared that they feel the pain of front-line and fry-line workers at the bottom who’re struggling to make ends meet on the $8.25 an hour they’re typically paid. That’s about $17,500 a year–gross–for full-time work (though most who toil under the golden arches are held well short of 40 hours a week, further shrinking their paychecks).

You could almost see tears welling in the eyes of top executives as they conceded that this is poverty pay, leaving those who prep and serve “Happy Meals” for millions of children unable to cover the cost of their own meals and other basics.

So, imagine the joy of crew members (McDonald’s congenial moniker for “workers”) when word spread down the ranks that the bosses were going to give a financial boost to each of them. At last, a raise!

Ha! A raise for mere workers? Get real. Instead of money, they were given a website. It was like getting socks for Christmas, but not as warm and fuzzy. Actually it was more like getting socked, for the website blames employees themselves for not making ends meet on their meager wages, implying that they’re ignoramuses and wastrels who just don’t manage their paychecks properly. …

continue reading at Hightower Lowdown

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