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Americans Deserve a Big Raise–Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act : Huffington Post

By Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen

 

 

 

Business groups and their political allies have consistently attacked the idea of a minimum wage ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed it during the Depression to help stimulate the economy. And today — the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which FDR signed on June 25, 1938 to establish the minimum wage as well as the 8-hour day, paid overtime and child labor protections — their contemporary counterparts are still at it.

 

A recent report by the National Employment Law Project and the Cry Wolf Project, Consider the Source: 100 years of Broken Record Opposition to the Minimum Wage, chronicles the history of unchanging sky-is-falling rhetoric by business interests opposed to minimum wage laws.

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By |June 25th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Americans Deserve a Big Raise–Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act : Huffington Post

Disabled workers paid just pennies an hour – and it’s legal : NBC News

One of the nation’s best-known charities is paying disabled workers as little as 22 cents an hour, thanks to a 75-year-old legal loophole that critics say needs to be closed.

Goodwill Industries, a multibillion-dollar company whose executives make six-figure salaries, is among the nonprofit groups permitted to pay thousands of disabled workers far less than minimum wage because of a federal law known as Section 14 (c). Labor Department records show that some Goodwill workers in Pennsylvania earned wages as low as 22, 38 and 41 cents per hour in 2011.

“If they really do pay the CEO of Goodwill three-quarters of a million dollars, they certainly can pay me more than they’re paying,” said Harold Leigland, who is legally blind and hangs clothes at a Goodwill in Great Falls, Montana for less than minimum wage.

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By |June 24th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Disabled workers paid just pennies an hour – and it’s legal : NBC News

The minimum-wage stimulus : Reuters

By Felix Salmon

Nick Hanauer has a good idea today: raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The minimum-wage intervention would kill a lot of birds with one stone: it’s a win-win-win-win-win-win.

First of all, most simply and most cleanly, it would immediately raise the incomes of millions of cash-strapped Americans — precisely the people who most need to be earning more than they’re making right now. A whopping 51 million people would benefit directly, along with 30 million who would benefit indirectly: these are enormous numbers.

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By |June 20th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on The minimum-wage stimulus : Reuters

The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage : Bloomberg View

By Nick Hanauer

The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequality creates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.

Low-wage jobs are fast replacing middle-class ones in the U.S. economy. Sixty percent of the jobs lost in the last recession were middle-income, while 59 percent of the new positions during the past two years of recovery were in low-wage industries that continue to expand such as retail, food services, cleaning and health-care support. By 2020, 48 percent of jobs will be in those service sectors.

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By |June 20th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage : Bloomberg View

Cutting wages won’t create jobs : The Hill

By Jack Temple

You know the summer has started when the restaurant industry fires up its annual campaign to blame the minimum wage for the lack of summer job opportunities for teens looking to make some side money.

This year’s effort includes a new highlight: a billboard on West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, featuring a jarring image of former child actress Amanda Bynes, suggesting that the distress visible on the celebrity’s face may be a reaction to minimum wage laws that are preventing teens from finding a job this summer.
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By |June 19th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Cutting wages won’t create jobs : The Hill

Dems Rebrand Minimum Wage, Sick Leave As Women’s Issues To Pressure GOP : Huffington Post

Two years ago, a spat between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over Planned Parenthood funding sparked a national debate about birth control that helped lead to a historic gender gap in the 2012 elections, with Obama beating Mitt Romney by about 10 points among women voters. Now, Democrats hope to leverage women’s support to pressure Republicans on a host of labor reforms, including the minimum wage, paid sick days and fair pay.

“A majority of Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and they only brought it to the floor this year with great reluctance because we made it too hot to handle out there,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told The Huffington Post in an interview. “That may be what we have to do with these issues — paycheck fairness, child care, sick leave. As President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything,’ and that’s where we have to take our fight.”

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By |June 17th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Dems Rebrand Minimum Wage, Sick Leave As Women’s Issues To Pressure GOP : Huffington Post