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USA Today: Give workers a raise

Excerpted from a Ralph Nader op-ed at USA Today.

The long-standing effort to raise the federal minimum wage is approaching showdown time. Opinion polls show consistent support for a raise across the political spectrum. Cities from Washington to San Jose have passed significant local increases, and more are on the way. Last week, President Obama upped the ante with a push for higher overtime pay.

Scared, the same corporate establishment who declared through the National Association of Manufactures in 1937 that the minimum wage would be “a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism and Nazism” has resorted to spewing out every broken-record argument in the book. Though the minimum wage has been increased 22 times without calamity, the broken record continues to spin. This tune is getting tedious.

Read the full op-ed at USA Today

By |March 18th, 2014|News Coverage|Comments Off on USA Today: Give workers a raise

Ralph Nader Letters to Corporate Dollar Store CEOs

Read Ralph Nader’s letters to the CEOs of Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, and Dollar General.

Letter to Family Dollar CEO Howard R. Levine

Letter to Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser

Letter to Dollar General CEO Richard W. Dreiling

By |December 9th, 2013|News Coverage, Resources|Comments Off on Ralph Nader Letters to Corporate Dollar Store CEOs

Ron Unz: A $12 Minimum Wage: Transforming Policy Idea into Political Reality

As most readers have no doubt already heard, early last week I filed the text of an initiative that would raise California’s minimum wage to $12.00 per hour, a figure far higher than that of any state or city in America. The heavy resulting coverage in The New York Times and numerous other major media outlets demonstrates the timeliness and public resonance of the issue, which taken to a national level should boost the incomes of America’s lower-wage workers by well over $150 billion each year, a very sizeable amount.

Read more

By |December 4th, 2013|News Coverage, Press|Comments Off on Ron Unz: A $12 Minimum Wage: Transforming Policy Idea into Political Reality

Who Got Pay Raises This Decade? D.C. Councilmembers or D.C. Minimum Wage Workers?

The D.C. Council is currently debating whether to raise the minimum wage to $11.50, a level that would:

Catch up to the peak federal minimum wage in 1968 which, adjusted for inflation, would be $10.77 today.
Set the minimum wage at 41% of the median wage, which is much closer to both: (1) the “half the median wage” benchmark that most OECD countries use to set a minimum wage value; and (2) the minimum-to-median ratio that the United States itself had during the 1960’s and 1970’s, which set the minimum wage at, on average, 48% of the median wage.
Set District wages — assuming that the Prince George’s County and Montgomery County $11.50 minimum wage initiatives pass — at the same level as surrounding Maryland districts.
Be 86% of the District living wage of $13.40 set by the Living Wage Act of 2006, which ensures a living wage for employees of firms that have contracts with the city.
Index the minimum wage to inflation, so we need not re-legislate this issue every few years.

Some Councilmembers are buying into industry spin and dragging their feet on supporting the much-needed raise for low wage workers in the district.  We put together this graph to ask:

D.C. Council: Why drag your feet on a raise for minimum wage workers while happily accepting raises for yourselves?

 If the D.C. minimum wage grew with the D.C. council wage since 2006, it would be $27.60 today!  If it only grew at half the Council wage, it would be $17.22!  Where does it stand?  A miserly $8.25, while the D.C. councilmember wage has shot up to $65.23 per hour.

Even worse, because the minimum wage is not indexed to inflation, minimum wage workers are set to lose $17,555 between 2011 […]

By |November 22nd, 2013|News Coverage, Resources|Comments Off on Who Got Pay Raises This Decade? D.C. Councilmembers or D.C. Minimum Wage Workers?