Posted 5 days ago

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/seatac-airport-workers-fight-exclusion-15-minimum-wage/

"Clearly, the CEO and senior managers of Alaska Airlines, and their board of directors, and their shareholders would prefer that most of the value created by that enterprise goes to them, and almost none of the value created by that enterprise goes to their workers." Nick Hanauer

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/seatac-airport-workers-fight-exclusion-15-minimum-wage/

Posted 1 week ago

WHY THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD REALLY BE RAISED TO $15 AN HOUR

Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states have already taken action  — Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious — Washington, D.C. and its surrounding counties raised it to $11.50, Seattle is considering $15.00

Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation raising it nationally to $10.10, from the current $7.25 an hour.

All this is fine as far as it goes. But we need to be more ambitious. We should be raising the federal minimum to $15 an hour.

Here are seven reasons why:

1. Had the minimum wage of 1968 simply stayed even with inflation, it would be more than $10 an hour today. But the typical worker is also about twice as productive as then. Some of those productivity gains should go to workers at the bottom.

2. $10.10 isn’t enough to lift all workers and their families out of poverty. Most low-wage workers aren’t young teenagers; they’re major breadwinners for their families, and many are women. And they and their families need a higher minimum.

3. For this reason, a $10.10 minimum would also still require the rest of us to pay Medicaid, food-stamps, and other programs necessary to get poor families out of poverty — thereby indirectly subsidizing employers who refuse to pay more. Bloomberg View describes McDonalds and Walmart as “America’s biggest welfare queens” because their employees receive so much public assistance. (Some, like McDonalds, even advise their employees to use public programs because their pay is so low.)

4. A $15/hour minimum won’t result in major job losses because it would put money in the pockets of millions of low-wage workers who will spend it — thereby giving working families and the overall economy a boost, and creating jobs. (When I was Labor Secretary in 1996 and we raised the minimum wage, business predicted millions of job losses; in fact, we had more job gains over the next four years than in any comparable period in American history.)

5. A $15/hour minimum is unlikely to result in higher prices because most businesses directly affected by it are in intense competition for consumers, and will take the raise out of profits rather than raise their prices. But because the higher minimum will also attract more workers into the job market, employers will have more choice of whom to hire, and thereby have more reliable employees — resulting in lower turnover costs and higher productivity.

6. Since Republicans will push Democrats to go even lower than $10.10, it’s doubly important to be clear about what’s right in the first place. Democrats should be going for a higher minimum rather than listening to Republican demands for a smaller one.

7. At a time in our history when 95 percent of all economic gains are going to the top 1 percent, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour isn’t just smart economics and good politics. It’s also the morally right thing to do.

Call your senators and members of congress today to tell them $15 an hour is the least American workers deserve. You can reach them at 202-224-3121.


Posted 2 weeks ago
Posted 2 weeks ago

Sea-Tac Airport Workers are asking for your support

The $15 wage initiative in SeaTac is still being hashed out in court because of interference from Alaska Airlines and its corporate allies, but airport workers aren’t sitting around.

We are taking action - and we are asking for your support. 

We take care of passengers, including Alaska Airlines customers, who need wheelchair assistance, skycap services and baggage delivery. We are proud of our work, but we are paid minimum wage with no benefits and little respect.

We formed a union because we have the right to good jobs, living wages and the chance to push for workplace improvements. We know it won’t be easy since Alaska Airlines and their contractor company Bags, Inc. are already fighting our decision.

Join other community members and sign onto a letter of support telling Alaska Airlines and Bags management to respect our decision to form a union.

From the Bags Worker Organizing Committee, (Sea-Tac Airport workers)

Raymond McNew, Rahel Biru, Nuur Abdiwahid, Yared Sima, Yusur Adan, Halimo Hirsi, Nimo Ahmed, Ferhiwot Taffa, Amina Mohamud, Saliban Abdullahi, Meklit Desta, Lemlem Areda , Habibo Ali, Alemeyahu Anja, Kinfe Molito, Carol Worman

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sea-Tac Airport workers are asking for your support

The $15 wage initiative in SeaTac is still being hashed out in court because of interference from Alaska Airlines and its corporate allies, but airport workers aren’t sitting around.

We are taking action - and we are asking for your support. 

We take care of passengers, including Alaska Airlines customers, who need wheelchair assistance, skycap services and baggage delivery. We are proud of our work, but we are paid minimum wage with no benefits and little respect.

We formed a union because we have the right to good jobs, living wages and the chance to push for workplace improvements. We know it won’t be easy since Alaska Airlines and their contractor company Bags, Inc. are already fighting our decision.

Join other community members and sign onto a letter of support telling Alaska Airlines and Bags management to respect our decision to form a union.

From the Bags Worker Organizing Committee, (Sea-Tac Airport workers)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Underlining enforcement crisis, nationwide survey of fast food workers shows 9 in 10 experience wage theft

A new nationwide survey by Hart Research shows that an astonishing 89% of fast food workers are victims of wage theft by their employers. Although wage theft is illegal in every state, it remains all too common: low-wage workers across the country are frequently required to work off the clock, not paid time-and-a-half after 40 hours, and simply not paid for all their hours worked.

In Seattle, the promise of our city’s criminal wage theft law has yet to see real-world application — not a single wage theft case has been prosecuted, despite the overwhelming evidence from this and other surveys that wages are stolen every day. And more than a year after paid sick leave became law, surveys show that many workers — and employers — remain unaware that Seattle workers have a right to paid sick leave.

“Passing strong laws is great, but it’s not enough,” said Yonas Kasa, who works at McDonald’s on First Hill. “Workers need to know know what the law is, and we need to know that the law will be enforced. When we raise the minimum wage, we need to make sure that $15 becomes a reality for Seattle workers.”

Seattle workers are calling for robust enforcement measures to be an integral part of any new minimum wage law — and in particular, to integrate a strong bottom-up education and monitoring component into the law.  

“Wage theft is an epidemic in low wage jobs across the country, but we can address it if workers know their rights and aren’t afraid to come forward,” explained Rebecca Smith, Deputy Director of the National Employment Law Project. “As part of the minimum wage policy, the city should establish a training and monitoring program that is run through an independent worker-led organization.”

Posted 3 weeks ago

Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers

Fast food worker Tenesha Green describes how she personally experienced wage theft on the job, while law expert Rebecca Smith explains the significance of the lawsuits against McDonald’s after New York forces McD’s owner to pay half a million dollars to employees for back pay.

Posted 3 weeks ago

'If I have to wait six months or a year, I’m going to be broke,' said Jules Grele, owner of Powder Keg Bar and Grill in Tenino, Thurston County.

Grele said that he has lost at least $6,000 in business since the ban took place.

They said I’d get four nonsmokers to every smoker I lost,’ he said. ‘That has not happened. They’re not here.’

Associated Press, 1/7/2006, after the Washington smoking ban passed.

Apparently the prediction was wrong, because the Powder Keg is still in business today: https://m.facebook.com/PowderKegBarGrill?id=242938785837897&refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPowderKegBarGrill

(via goodjobsseattle)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Two groups of airport workers and community supporters took it right to their employers, Extra Car Park and Air Serv, demanding better wages and working conditions.

Two groups of airport workers and community supporters took it right to their employers, Extra Car Park and Air Serv, demanding better wages and working conditions.

Extra Car Park isn’t paying their workers the $15/hour that the people of SeaTac voted for and is trying to intimidate workers who are standing up for what they deserve. When Extra Car workers filed complaints with the City of SeaTac, their boss started firing them. We all aren’t going to put up with that.

Extra Car workers, other airport workers, Teamsters, SEIU members and other allies marched in front of Extra Car’s parking lot waving signs, yelling and calling management out for their shady treatment of their workers.

“Shame! Shame! You’ve gone too far, Extra Car!”

Extra Car management tried to push us, literally, off of the public sidewalk and tried to encourage cars to drive right through us as we marched. We still didn’t back down.

Later in the day, workers announced they’ve filed a class-action lawsuit against Extra Car. Through street heat, organizing and legal action, we’ll win justice at Extra Car!

Right down the street we walked into the Air Serv main offices and delivered a petition, signed by the majority of Air Serv workers, calling on management to meet with the workers’ committee.

Air Serv workers handle baggage, clean airplanes, and provide wheelchair services at Sea-Tac Airport. The company is profitable but treats its workers shabbily.

“You don’t pay us the $15 we deserve,” said Alex Hoopes, an Air Serv worker. “You just keep cutting hours, and cutting hours. You keep hiring new people when the rest of us can’t make enough.”

We cheered as management started mumbling a weak retort.

“How are we supposed to be loyal to you when you aren’t loyal to us?”

We crammed into the Air Serv office, filling it and spilling into the hallway. What we wanted was simple. Management needs to meet with the workers’ committee to start to address the continuing issues of low pay, a lack of respect, and safety issues.

One person shouted out, “Just meet with us!” Another said, “You don’t give us any dignity. We want to be paid enough to actually live!”

As we asked for the management to do the right thing by its workers, one person summed everything up.

“We just want management to agree to meet with us and go over these issues that won’t go away.  We just want respect. And we won’t stop until we get it.”

Posted 3 weeks ago

Symposium On Income Inequality Pushing Seattle Toward $15 Minimum Wage

"Seattle is getting serious about the possibility of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour." via kplu #15forSeattle