An 87 Percent Vote for a $15-an-Hour Wage
The fight for a $15 minimum wage spans from Seattle to Chicago. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Polls have since confirmed that Americans from across the political and ideological spectrum are overwhelmingly in favor of a substantial increase in the minimum wage. And election results are now confirming the sen
Now comes a powerful signal from Chicago.
When voters in the city went to the polls to cast ballots in Tuesday’s statewide and local primary elections, thousands of them faced an economic question: Would they support a $15-an-hour minimum wage for large employers in the city?
The results were overwhelming. With 100 of the 103 precincts where the issue was on the ballot reporting, 87 percent of voters were backing the $15-an-hour wage. Just 13 percent voted against the advisory referendum. That huge level of support will strengthen the hand of activists who are encouraging the city council to consider a major wage hike.
for the rest of this worthy post go to the Nation:
The Central Oklahoma Labor Federation is leading the charge on a petition to raise Oklahoma City’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Supporting the initiative at City Hall Thursday was Mark Faulk, candidate for House District 88, Senator Connie Johnson, Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Dr. Ed Shadid, and local NAACP President Garland Pruitt.
“My name is Ron and I work at Carl’s Jr.,” read attorney David Slane in a note after filing the petition, “I have to worry about rent, groceries, electric, a car, insurance and there’s nothing left after taxes.”
Oklahoma Central Labor Federation: https://www.facebook.com/CentralOklahomaLaborFederation
To raise the minimum wage in Davis to $15.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: •Elisha St. Laurent, SJSU Class of ’14, CAFÉ J, (408) 438-8549, firstname.lastname@example.org
•Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, Professor, SJSU, (510) 508-5382, email@example.com
1st ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF $10 MINIMUM WAGE IN SAN JOSE
Leaders from Five Cities To Speak About “Raising the Wage”
SAN JOSE, CA – On Tuesday, March 11th at noon, the Campus Alliance for Economic Justice–the SJSU student group that developed and helped lead the Measure D campaign–will hold a press conference at the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statues to discuss the positive impact that the $2 minimum wage increase has brought to San Jose. In addition, leaders from five California cities will speak about why they are leading efforts to raise the city-wide minimum wage in their communities (see attached flier).
The positive impact of the $2 increase in the minimum wage has been profound:
•The 40,000 minimum wage workers in San Jose have pumped over $100 million into the local economy since the implementation of Measure D, helping to stimulate the economic growth of Silicon Valley; •This economic stimulus has helped decrease the unemployment rate since the passage of Measure D, which has dropped in the San Jose metro area from 7.6% in February, 2013 to 5.8% in December, 2013 (the last month available);*
•The City of San Jose reports that overall businesses growth is up 4.9% in San Jose, with 84,000 businesses registered at the start of 2014 in comparison to 75,000 in the previous year. In the leisure and hospitality industry, a sector that includes food services, there was a net increase of 4,000 jobs in San Jose in 2013 according to the California Employment Development Department; ** •The San Jose Downtown Association reports that businesses grew by 3% in the past year, with the retail sector, which includes restaurants, increasing to 19% of all downtown businesses, up from 15% in 2012; *** •Lastly, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of hours worked on average in 2013 in the San Jose metro area is nearly the exact amount as they were in 2012 (36.5 vs. 36.9 hours). ****
As a result of these positive results, the idea to “raise the wage” has spread to other California cities hoping to repeat what San Jose, as well as San Francisco, has accomplished. At the press conference, leaders from five cities (i.e., Berkeley, Davis, Eureka, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale) working to raise the minimum wage will speak about the conditions that caused them to put forward a city-wide minimum wage increase, and the current status of their campaigns. •11:30 am: Opportunity to speak to community leaders from five cities •12 pm: Press conference begins
* http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LAUMT064194000000003?data_tool=XGtable ** http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Reality-Check-Minimum-Wage-One-Year-Later-244821391.html; http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sjos$pds.pdf
Eureka’s Fair Wage Folks To Speak At San Jose State University
March 11th Marks The Year Anniversary Of San Jose’s Successful $10 Minimum Wage Measure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2014
Contact: James Decker (707) 761-5247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eureka, CA: Proponents of the Eureka Fair Wage Act, or Minimum Wage Ordinance (November 2014 City ballot), will speak at the 1-year anniversary of San Jose’s Measure D, which raised the minimum wage in the City of San Jose to $10 an hour. The anniversary press conference and celebration will be held on Tuesday March 11th at noon on the campus of San Jose State University at the Smith and Carlos Statue. The Fair Wage Folks will join speakers from the minimum wage movement in seven other California cities, talking about their local campaigns to raise wages. San Jose’s workers and economy have experienced positive impacts from Measure D’s higher minimum wage. The Fair Wage Folks are excited to be part of this historic California movement and invite local media outlets to document the March 11 event.
The Eureka Fair Wage Act is a people’s initiative, as was Measure D in San Jose, and will require employers with 25 or more workers in the Eureka city limits to pay a twelve dollar minimum wage.
Article on the history of San Jose’s student-led Measure D:
The public and press are welcome to contact The Fair Wage Folks (707) 442-7465 , email@example.com
and the San Jose Campus Alliance for Economic Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
Flier for March 11 anniversary event attached.
by Richard Eskow at OurFuture.org
President Obama signed an executive order on Wednesday raising the minimum wage for some federally contracted workers to $10.10. This move illustrates the fact that we need a higher minimum wage for all workers. It also promotes the bill by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015.
Make no mistake: The President’s gesture was a good one, and the Harkin/Miller bill is very important. But, as is so often the case nowadays, strategists on the left run the risk of prematurely accepting preconceptions about what is “politically possible.” If economic debate becomes strictly a defensive game fon the left, the “Overton window” of acceptable debate will keep shifting toward the right.
The minimum wage is an excellent case in point. There are strong arguments for raising it even more – perhaps considerably more – than is currently being discussed, and the independent left should be making them.
Here are ten reasons why “$10.10” should be a floor, not a ceiling, in discussions of the minimum wage.
1. It keeps up with inflation – but not entirely.
Compared to the 1968 minimum wage, $10.10 is enough to keep up with inflation – more or less. But it doesn’t make up for the many years in which minimum wage workers fell behind. Those years often led to increased debt, lost educational opportunities, and other forms of deprivation.
2. We’re lagging behind other industrialized countries.
The U.S. minimum wage is well behind that of most other industrialized countries. Even at $10.10, we would be laggards compared with most of our peers. (But not all of them. To use the vernacular: In your face, Slovak Republic!)
Our current minimum wage is roughly 40 percent of the median national income. We would have to raise it to roughly $10.88, effective immediately, to equal France’s. And don’t we want to do even better than that? (Source: International Labor Organization)
Where’s that American exceptionalism when we need it?
3. If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity, it would be $21.72 today.
The Harkin/Miller bill would peg the minimum wage to inflation in future years. But there’s a very strong argument for tying it to productivity instead. That’s what the minimum wage did in the years between 1947 and 1968, as economist Dean Baker regularly points out. (Source: Dean Baker, CEPR)
If the minimum wage were based on productivity increases from 1968 to today, it would be more than $21 per hour. (Source: John Schmitt, CEPR)
Corporations would have us believe that even a modest minimum wage tied to inflation would stifle growth and lead to increased joblessness. And yet, during the decades that the minimum wage rose even higher, with productivity, we experienced an average of 4 percent annual GDP growth and 4 percent unemployment. (Source: Baker and Kimball, CEPR)
In fact, the official unemployment rate in 1968 was less than half of the rate today, and the actual employment figures were even better.
Productivity measures the wealth produced by an economy. One percenters want us to believe otherwise, but a system in which most new wealth goes to them is the exception, not the rule. Why are we deliberately preserving this harmful situation?
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