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  • Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Federal Contract Fast-Food Workers Ask the President for a Living Wage and Better Working Conditions

    The President said last week, "I’m going to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hard-working Americans across the entire country." But Congress isn't working together, and Americans making very little money cannot continue to live in poverty, while their employers can afford to pay them better wages. The President has the power to take action for people working under federal contracts. Read the White House press secretary Jay Carney's response to reporters about the minimum wage issue.

    White House sidesteps talk of raising minimum wage with executive order - The Hill

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  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Fast-Food Workers are Going on Strike Thursday

    Fast-food workers are ready to strike this Thursday in 100 cities across the country. With the median age being 29, and over one-fourth are parents, workers are striking for higher wages so they can support their families.  Read more about the planned strikes in this New York Times article:

    Wage Strikes Planned at Fast-Food Outlets - New York Times

    Meet Eduardo Shoy, he is 58 and earns minimum wage in New York City. Mr. Shoy is employed at KFC and Pizza Hut, working 70 hours a week to support his wife and two children. Read this New York Times article of Mr. Shoy explaining how hard it is to live paycheck-to-paycheck:

    Life on $7.25 an Hour - New York Times

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  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Black Friday: 1,500 Wal-Mart Actions Nationwide

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Low-wage Workers Deserve Federal Government Backing; Over 50 Civil Arrests at Los Angeles Wal-Mart Protest; OSHA Proposes Electronic Filings for Better Transparency

    The current national minimum wage has people living in poverty. Votes are still being tallied, but SeaTac, Washington stepped up and lead the nation by voting on a ballot measure that would create a minimum wage of $15 an hour. The New York Times Editorial Board said, "Fast-food workers, Wal-Mart employees and staff of federal contractors have all been agitating recently for higher pay from profitable employers. They deserve raises, and they deserve to have the federal government behind them.

    Redefining the Minimum Wage - The New York Times

    Just South of Washington State, 54 people were arrested last Thursday in downtown Los Angeles after blocking streets marking the largest single act of civil disobedience in Wal-Mart history. The demonstrators acted in solidarity for the twenty Wal-Mart workers that were fired after joining a walkout in June. 

    Largest Wal-Mart civil disobedience ends with over 50 arrests - Salon

    OSHA has proposed to make injury and illness reporting  more transparent by having large companies file reports electronically. The electronic  reports would be posted online and made available to the public. Eric Frumin, health and safety director at the Change to Win, said the new process creates little burden on employers that are “simply providing additional details that they are already collecting on the causes of these injuries and ways to prevent them.”

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  • Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Bangladesh Garment Workers Receive Minimum Wage Increase; Washington State City Gets $15 Minimum Wage; New York Elects First Democrat in 20 Years

    The Bangladesh garment industry has drawn global attention for its unsafe working conditions causing hundreds of deaths in the last several months. To make matters worse, the garment industry has the lowest paid workers in the world.  On Monday, a government panel voted to raise monthly wages for garment workers to 5,300 taka, which is about $68-a-month minimum wage.

    Bangladesh Takes Step to Increase Lowest Pay - New York Times

    Garment workers in Bangladesh are paid poorly, even with a raise, but they aren't the only workers that made progress this week. In SeaTac, residents voted on a ballot measure that created a $15-an-hour minimum wage. The approval of SeaTac Proposition 1 sent a clear message that workers can't survive off even the highest minimum wage in the country —minimum wage in Washington State is $9.19 -an-hour. "This means that the people who put fuel in jets may actually be able to buy a ticket on one,” said David Rolf,  vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 

    Washington city votes to raise minimum wage to $15 - CNN

    On another good note, New York City's newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio is the first Democrat to be elected in 20 years. “Tackling inequality isn’t easy. It never has been, and it never will be,” de Blasio said at a victory speech. Among many challenges, Mayor de Blasio will have to negotiate several city labor contracts that are due for renewal.

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