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Minimum Wage Push to Include Tipped Workers

On Tuesday, I will hold a news conference to discuss details of important new minimum wage legislation I am introducing in the Senate.

The wage floor hasn't be raised in Pennsylvania since it hit $7.15 in 2007. In the meantime, inflation has pushed thousands of minimum wage families into poverty.

Senator Vincent Hughes will be joining me at Tuesday's event, along with:

Reverend Bonnie Carmada, Salvation Army
Elizabeth McElroy, Secretary-Treasurer of Philadelphia AFL-CIO
Mark Price, Senior Labor Economist at Keystone Research Center
Kathy Black, President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women
John Dodds, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project

The news conference will take place at 2 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room (202) in Philadelphia’s City Hall.

Good News: City Ends Fight Agains Firefighters

Pennsylvania’s big cities and many of its school districts are facing serious financial challenges because of a struggling economy and unfortunate changes in demographics.  Still, it’s hard to see the wisdom of elected leaders who look inward, at their long-time and dedicated employees to place responsibility for the problems and the burden of the solution.

It was good to hear this week that Mayor Nutter was ending his four-year fight with the city’s firefighters and allowing them to received an arbitration award that was justly earned.

The Great Recession was tough on budgets everywhere, but the city’s first responders are not responsible for what Wall Street traders did to our economy.  They are there to answer the call and that doesn’t change based on the Dow Jones average. 

It’s unfortunate that the mayor waited until there was virtually no hope for his case in Commonwealth Court before deciding to deal squarely with the firefighters.

Hopefully, lessons will be learned and the city can address other outstanding contracts with the idea that city employees are part of the solution, not part of the problem. 

Local 22 of the IAFF is pushing for a charter change that would require council approval before the challenge of an arbitration award.  Read more by clicking here.

Walker Wins One in War on Workers

Bad news from Wisconsin this week, where Republican Gov.  Scott Walker’s War on Workers just got a thumbs up from a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said Walker’s push to strip state workers of nearly all their union rights is constitutional.
Workers in two counties filed the suit in 2011, saying Walker’s actions violated their right to freely assemble and their right to equal protection.

The judge disagreed, saying that Walker allows the workers to speak, he just prohibits their employer from listening.  Seriously.

One of the unions' attorneys, called Conley's ruling "just wrong."

Read more about the continuing challenges to Walker’s War on Workers by clicking here.  

Read more on the national War on Workers by clicking here.


Owner of Yuengling beer pushing for right to work legislation.

AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles

Labor and Industry Dept. Announces Work-Search Registration for Unemployment





Watch Live PA & U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (6/12 - 2/13)