Rep. Frederica Wilson: Raising the Minimum Wage: Good Ethics and Good Economics

“This week, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of a March on Washington that was as much about economic justice as political freedom.  And over this long weekend, we observe the only national holiday that’s all about honoring the American worker.

But this week is about much more than symbolism.  It’s about action.  All over the country, food industry workers–some of the lowest-paid and hardest-working people in the nation–are stepping off the job to petition for a living wage.  In Washington, a real fight is brewing over the nation’s minimum wage, which, at $7.25, remains one of the lowest in the developed world.

In the wake of a Great Recession that hit low-income workers hardest, America is coming around to a simple fact: Raising the minimum wage is not only good ethics but also good economics.”

the rest of it:

Sig Gathering in Alaska to Raise Wages!

Anchorage, Alaska — Sponsors of an initiative petition to increase Alaska’s minimum wage, are working to gather enough signatures by January to put the issue on the August 2014 ballot.

The bill would increase Alaska’s minimum wage to $9.75 by 2016 — two dollars more than the $7.75 that minimum wage workers currently earn.

The Diversity of the Fair Wage Movement – SOLIDARITY

via San Francisco Chronicle:

“This week, the 26-year-old Ware stood in front of a store in Oakland, describing through a bullhorn his solidarity with his “brothers and sisters” – fast-food workers and airport concession workers who also were barely surviving on near minimum-wage jobs, part-time hours and, if they are lucky, health care benefits.

Ware led about a dozen members of his “family” on a peaceful, two-minute walk through the store. They sang the classic Bob Marley tune, “Get Up, Stand Up,” as several store workers on the job furtively shot them thumbs-ups or quick salutes of solidarity.

It was a small sign of how the concerns of low-wage workers began to merge this week in the Bay Area and beyond.”

Initiative to Raise the Minimum Wage in South Dakota

“Zach Crago, the interim executive director for the South Dakota Democratic Party, said this morning that the petition drive to put a minimum-wage increase on the 2014 statewide ballot kicks off today at the State Fair in Huron and will ramp up on Labor Day in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.”

Fast Food Robots? Not so Fast….

“You may have seen recently that fast food workers across the country are striking to be paid a living wage. One of the more common responses to this, in fact one that was rolled out by the Employment Policies Institute in a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal, is that robots could easily replace all you poors, so take your $7.25 an hour and like it.

One problem, though: Robots aren’t ready to take your job, and it’s going to be a long time before they are. Here’s why.”

Read more:

How the National Restaurant Association Keeps Workers in Poverty

this is a must read if you are in the trenches, big long article by Steven Rosenfeld

“n June, the NRA  boasted that its lobbyists had stopped minimum wage increases in 27 out of 29 states in 2013. In Connecticut, which increased its state minimum wage, a raise in the base pay for tipped workers such as waitresses and bartenders vanished in the final bill. A similar scenario unfolded in New York State: It increased its minimum wage, but the NRA’s last-minute lobbying derailed raising the pre-tip wage at restaurants and bars. The deals came despite polls  showing 80 percent support for raising the minimum wage.

The NRA’s lobbying didn’t stop there. It also told members that it  blocked a dozen states this year from passing laws that would require earned paid sick leave, which is what  New York City and  Portland, Oregon adopted. Meanwhile, it boasted that six states, including Florida, passed NRA-backed laws that preemptively ban localities from granting earned and paid employee sick time.”

Steven Rosenfeld:

Who Earns Minimum Wage in Gilroy?

via Patch:

By David Mills

“They are in the public eye every day.

People see them while they’re shopping, when they’re eating in a restaurant, when they’re staying at a hotel.

Minimum wage earners are more common than many people might think.

There are 2.3 million Californians who work for minimum wage. There aren’t statistics readily available on how many people earn this basic salary at city or county levels.”

go to link above for complete story


Fast Food Workers Strike in National Action for Economic Justice – Aug. 29, 2013

shortlink here:

New York City, via 🙂

“Fast food workers are walking out on their jobs today to once again protest low wages, demand the right to unionize and fight for better working conditions. The strikes are occurring in 50 cities including New York City, where there are multiple walk-outs plus a rally planned.

The first walkout was at the McDonald’s at 341 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was there, as was City Council Member and Public Advocate hopeful Letitia James. James invoked Martin Luther King Jr., quoting the civil rights leader, “It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.””

Chicago Tribune:,0,3586222.story

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fast-food workers staged strikes at McDonald’s and Burger Kings and demonstrated at other stores in sixty U.S. cities on Thursday in their latest action in a nearly year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector.

The strikes spread quickly across the country and have shut down restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle, according to organizers.”

LA Times:,0,7294893.story

Huffington Post:

the Guardian UK:

KTVU San Francisco:

NBC 5 Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas:

Flint, Michigan: