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Letter to Mayor Vincent Gray

July 17, 2013

Mayor Vincent Gray
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 316
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Mayor Gray:

As you gather the relevant information for your decision on the Large Retailer Accountability Act (passed by the D.C. Council which would require big box stores pay a $12.50 (minus benefits) minimum wage) please consider one reply to Walmart’s arrogant assertion of its indispensability in certain areas of the District of Columbia. I refer to the services offered by the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) which we pressed through Congress in 1978.

The NCB’s mission is to offer loans and technical assistance to start consumer cooperatives. Indeed the NCB is committed to serving low-income communities and has helped build retail and housing cooperatives in underserved areas.

Over the years, the NCB’s supply of loan capacity and technical assistance has not been tapped as fully as is possible – in part because few city officials around the country have heard of its mission and its unique availability. The NCB’s offices are at 2001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 625. It is worthwhile for you and/or your staff to visit their staff and determine what the NCB could do to help create modern retail cooperatives in the District.

I am sure that Charles E. Snyder the president of the NCB would be delighted to see you and discuss possibilities in the areas that the bullying Walmart is threatening to withdraw from unless the D.C. government surrenders to an unreasonable corporate ultimatum. With another announced $15 billion Walmart stock buyback over three years (enough to give $7000 each year to each of its associates) and with Walmart’s CEO, Mike Duke, making $11,000 an hour or nearly $200 a minute, Walmart’s lord of the manor attitude is […]

By |July 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Letter to Mayor Vincent Gray

Ralph Nader to President Obama: It’s Your Sole Decision

Dear President Obama,

June 25th marked the 75th anniversary of the federal minimum wage law in the United States, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed this legislation, his vision was to ensure a “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” and to “end starvation wages.”

Seventy five years later, there are 3.6 million Americans working for pay at or below the federal minimum wage. More extensively, thirty million low wage workers are making less today, adjusted for inflation, than they did 45 years ago in 1968. They are working for a minimum wage that does not even reach the federal poverty line for a family of three and they cannot afford basic necessities like food, housing, transportation, and health care.

Had the minimum wage simply kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would stand at $10.70 per hour today instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. In that time, the minimum wage has lost nearly one-third of its value while the prices of everything from food to housing to health care have been increasing – often at rates higher than inflation. Each year that the federal minimum wage is not increased, you and Congress are effectively telling low-wage workers that they are not worth as much as they were the year before and each of the dollars they earn gets stretched even further due to the effects of inflation.

Here’s where you can make a decisive executive decision.

Just about a month ago, federally contracted low-wage workers walked off the job and participated in some of the larger strikes the nation’s capital has seen in recent years. Despite the fact that they work indirectly for the federal government, they are […]

By |June 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Ralph Nader to President Obama: It’s Your Sole Decision

Republicans Vote Against Minimum Wage Increase; Ralph Nader Says They Have Abandoned the American People

In the House of Representatives today, 227 Republicans voted unanimously to deny an increase to the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016. This included 39 Republicans, who changed their position from 2007, when they supported the last increase to the minimum wage.

“The Republicans in the House should be ashamed of how they have abandoned the interests of their constituents and of the 30 million Americans who are making less today, inflation adjusted, than they did in 1968. Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since then, it would be $10.56 instead of $7.25 today,” said Ralph Nader.

Nader continued, “Polls have shown that 70 percent of likely voters support increasing the minimum wage. With their votes today, Republicans have demonstrated that they do not answer to the American people – they answer to their corporate masters. Over the past few decades, worker productivity has doubled and all workers have received for this effort is a shrinking minimum wage that has lost nearly a third of its purchasing power. As if that weren’t enough, in the same period of time average CEO compensation has skyrocketed by over 900 percent.”

“Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of G.E., made $12,400 per hour last year and his counterpart at Walmart, Mike Duke, has made $11,000 per hour. When Republicans can cast a vote which says that those types of salaries are ok, but the lowest wage workers among us must continue to live in poverty, something is wrong. The working poor deserve a raise to at least $10.50 per hour, and they deserve it now!” concluded Nader.

By |March 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Republicans Vote Against Minimum Wage Increase; Ralph Nader Says They Have Abandoned the American People

Nader: The Cruel Gap Between CEO Pay and the Stagnant Minimum Wage : The Huffington Post

Walmart CEO Mike Duke makes approximately $11,000 an hour. Think about that — $11,000 every hour. Think about an hour of your day, the tasks you accomplish, and the compensation you receive from your employer. If you are an average American worker, you could add up all your daily work hours and that of your close friends, family, and fellow coworkers and it still won’t even come close to what Mike Duke makes in a single hour of his work day. He was the 46th highest paid CEO in America in 2012, according to Forbes.

Read more

By |March 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Nader: The Cruel Gap Between CEO Pay and the Stagnant Minimum Wage : The Huffington Post

Ralph Nader: Getting Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage – Easier than you think

Day after day exposés pour forth about corporate and governmental wrongdoing and abuses of power from official reports, the media, lawsuits and citizen groups. Far more often than not, little or nothing happens. The organized culprits continue with their harmful and greedy ways.

The golden age of muckraking in films, books, and magazine articles – assuming they are seen or read – can discourage people because the forces of law and order don’t follow through.

[…]

By |March 7th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Ralph Nader: Getting Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage – Easier than you think

Statement by Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen On Harkin/Miller Minimum Wage Bill

If the minimum wage legislation being introduced today by Senator Thomas
Harkin and Representative George Miller is enacted into law this year,
it will be five years since the working poor in American got a raise.

[…]

By |March 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Statement by Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen On Harkin/Miller Minimum Wage Bill