LA hotel worker’s get minimum wage increase

5422136dd4948The Los Angeles City Council has given final approval to a minimum wage increase for workers at the city’s large hotels. The bill would increase pay to $15.37 an hour. Hotel industry trade groups vocally opposed the bill and are preparing a legal challenge if Mayor Eric Garcetti signs it into law.

Hotel industry representatives call the measure discriminatory because it does not include workers citywide, and say it was a strategic move by labor groups to encourage more hotels to unionize their workers. Under the ordinance, hotels with a unionized workforce can be exempted from paying the $15.37 hourly wage, if workers agree in their contract to relinquish that opportunity.

“A minimum wage should be citywide,” said Bob Amano, executive director of the Hotel Assn. of Los Angeles. Amano said the members of the City Council didn’t review the economic impact reports commissioned on the proposal before approving the ordinance last week.

The wage boost will go into effect in July for hotels with at least 300 rooms, and expand a year later to hotels with at least 150 rooms. Garcetti has promised to sign the ordinance.

See http://www.latimes.com and http://www.democracynow.org for further headlines.

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Over 110 Arrested as Record Black Friday Protests Challenge Wal-Mart, Major Retailers on Low Wages

At least 111 people were arrested on Black Friday in a series of protests and acts of civil disobedience targeting Wal-Mart and other big box retailers. In St. Paul, Minnesota, 26 protesters were arrested when they blocked traffic while demanding better wages for janitors and retail employees. In Illinois, 10 people were issued citations at a protest near a Wal-Mart in Chicago. Video posted online showed nine people being arrested at a protest outside a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Virginia. At Wal-Mart protests in California, 15 people were arrested in Roseville, 10 arrested in Ontario, and five arrested in San Leandro. Organizers said actions took place at 1,500 Walmart locations across the country, up from about 400 locations last year. Meanwhile, fast-food workers have announced plans to hold a one-day strike in 100 cities on Thursday as part of a campaign to win a $15-an-hour wage. We discuss the labor protests with Josh Eidelson, staff reporter at Salon.com.

Source:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/2/over_110_arrested_as_record_black

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Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

If President Obama and his party didn’t even try to deliver on their 2008 campaign promise of a minimum wage hike when they had the White House and both houses of Congress on lockdown in 2010 and 2011, what does their sudden rediscovery of the minimum wage mean now, when they know they can move nothing through Congress? Are they and their sheepdogs, the so-called “progressive Democrats” just yanking our chain again?

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

As a presidential candidate back in 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama promised to ram a hike in the minimum wage through Congress by 2011. Like the president’s promises to renegotiate NAFTA and enact labor law reforms to make union organizing possible again, it wasn’t one of those high profile pledges he repeated at every opportunity in front of every audience. He didn’t have to, that’s not the way it works.

If you’re a right-leaning Democrat nowadays, here’s how it works: you make those kinds of promises before small audiences of labor and poor folks. From that point, it’s the job of your sheepdogs, the Democrat “progressives” campaigning for you to keep the herd of your base voters in line by putting those words in your mouth a lot more often, and with a lot more emphasis than you actually place upon them. Promises are promises, after all, and promises made by the wealthy and powerful to the poor and powerless are worth exactly nothing.

Inevitably, once in office the corporate Democrat (is there any other kind?) breaks his or her promise to his poor and apart from their votes which they’ve already given away, powerless constituents. At this point, his other sheepdogs, the “pragmatic” Democrats wisely bark at the herd about how naïve and foolish they are, that they don’t really understand how politics works, that this one president or mayor or whatever can’t save them or change the world, or do much anything really.

With President Obama’s popularity at an all time low, the president has rediscovered that something like 80% of the US favor not just a significantly higher minimum wage, but a minimum wage indexed to some kind of cost of living formula. Even a big majority of Republican voters are in favor of this. So the president has muttered his traditional few words about the minimum wage, and from MSNBC to Huffington Post to labor and the nonprofits, the chorus of presidential sheepdogs are baying – the president cares, the Democrats care, they want to raise the minimum wage, but the evil Republicans will want to thwart them….

The problem with this of course, is that whenever Democrats are in charge of Congress, they never try to raise the minimum wage. It’s a promise they make to get elected, and something you never hear about again until they’re safely in the minority again and need something to blame the evil Republicans for blocking. Let’s be clear, evil Republicans did not block efforts by President Obama or Congressional Democrats to raise the minimum wage in 2010 and 2011, when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. During that time, there were no bills introduced to raise the minimum wage. There were no presidential speeches or off the cuff presidential remarks mentioning raising the minimum wage. There was no pressure from the White House or Democrat leadership in the House or Senate to raise the minimum wage, despite the importance placed upon the president’s promise by his sheepdogs, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party.

Leading Democrats have always known that overwhelming majorities of Democrat voters want an increase in the minimum wage. But it’s a campaign issue, and Democrats only campaign differently than Republicans, not govern differently.

It’s worth noting that the first lady, Michelle Obama has devoted lots of time to shilling for Wal-Mart, the largest and most ruthless low-wage employer in the country. Even Fortune magazine claims Wal-Mart could substantially raise wages and benefits across the board without its shareholders taking much of a hit. But Democrat sheepdogs at MSNBC and labor won’t touch the First Lady. They bark only at the evil Republicans who won’t pass a “jobs bill” or a minimum wage hike or stop questioning the president’s birth certificate.

Under the people-proof and democracy-proof matrix we call politics in these United States of America, the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly support jacking the minimum wage doesn’t mean that elected Democrats will really even try, like the O’Jays said, to Give the People What They Want. It’s just a signal for the progressive sheepdogs to start barking again, a chain with which to herd us back into line, to circle the wagons again around the White House.

It’s just more progressive white noise from our black president.

Source: http://www.blackagendareport.com

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

Source: http://www.thomhartmann.com

The value of the federal minimum wage in 1968 was $1.60 according to

http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm

and using the inflation calculator at

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1.60&year1=1968&year2=2012

gives us a value of $10.50 in 2012 but the actual minimum wage is only $7.25. This is a loss of $3.25 per hour or $6,760 a year for a full time MW worker.

According to http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012tbls.htm some 3.55 million wage workers got this minimum wage or below in 2012

3,550,000
6,760 ×
————————–
$23.998 BILLION = lost wages

This number only includes those at the minimum wage or below… NOT those between the minimum wage and the $10.50 per hour range.

So who’s benefited from this $24 billion a year subsidy the economy got in 2012? And remember these are just rough numbers for one year.

This raises other issues of increased safety net expenditures AND lost tax revenue. But then we can always kick the can down the road by borrowing for those safety net programs so future taxpayers will be subsidizing our irresponsibility today.

– See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/11/mimimum-wage-workers-subsidize-our-economy#sthash.hq2IwDEY.dpuf

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Wal-Mart Workers Protest Nationwide; Dozens Arrested

Wal-Mart Workers Protest Nationwide; Dozens Arrested

Thousands of Wal-Mart workers joined a nationwide day of action in 15 cities Thursday, calling for Wal-Mart to provide a living wage, improve working conditions and end retaliation against employees who stand up for their rights. At least 24 people were arrested at actions in New York City and Los Angeles.

8.00 USD per hour (January 1, 2013) is the current minimum wage, which is a yearly Annual income of $16,640

How can one person, let along a family live off of that amount in a day in age where gas is extremely high, food is high of cost and let’s not get on being able to actually eat healthy…. All the unhealthy bad food is cheap, while healthy organic food hits too deep in a minimum wage earning persons pocket.

These corporations (And I say corporations due to politicians mostly consist of prior CEO’s of corps these days) don’t want to pay actual living wages – but want people to but their goods or services. I’m not economic specialist, but it does not take many brain cells to know the following –

The natural fluctuation of the economy between periods of expansion (growth) and contraction (recession). Factors such as gross domestic product (GDP), interest rates, levels of employment and consumer spending can help to determine the current stage of the economic cycle.

Does our government, states not know that if people actually make good money, they spend money. And what does that do? – It puts money back into the economy – it’s a cycle of make money, spend money. Its that easy!

When will our government think logically and assert humanity in their logic?