Navigation

Rewarding Work

NCSL: Progressive States Partners With National Labor Caucus, AFL-CIO, and the American Federation of Teachers

If you're headed to the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Nashville this year, you'll want to check out the meeting for the National Labor Caucus -- co-hosted this year by Progressive States, the AFL-CIO, and the AFT. Monday, Aug. 14 National Labor Caucus of State Legislators Annual Meeting and Reception 2:00-5:00 p.m. ””¢ Annual Meeting 5:30-7:30 p.m. ””¢ Reception Monday, Aug. 14, 2006 (The day before the Annual Meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures) Gaylord Opryland Hotel 2800 Opryland Drive Nashville, Tenn.

Piece Meal Reform

In discussing the Maryland Fair Share health care law or the Chicago retail wage law, a lot of liberals tsk, tsk the idea that it only applies to a limited number of businesses. The New York Times today bemoans the "fractured" nature of reforms represented by the Chicago bill,

Yet almost all social reforms have been enacted piece meal, including the original minimum wage law (more on the flip):

CA: State Rules FedEx Drivers Employees, Not Contractors

For years, the delivery company FedEx has claimed that its ground drivers are not employees but independent contractors-- meaning the company didn't have to pay for workers compensation, unemployment insurance or extend a range of other worker protections.

Chicago: Groundbreaking Retail Workers Living Wage Law Passes

By a vote of 35 to 14, the Chicago city council yesterday approved a new ordinance requiring large retailers in the city to phase in a living wage for their employees of $10 per hour plus $3 per hour in benefits-- the highest minimum wage established for any industry sector in the country. If signed by the mayor, the law would raise pay for tens of thousands of workers in retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Lowe's and Home Depot. A broad coalition of organizations including ACORN, labor unions and church groups worked together for its passage.

Chicago: Groundbreaking Retail Workers Living Wage Law Passes

By a vote of 35 to 14, the Chicago city council yesterday approved a new ordinance requiring large retailers in the city to phase in a living wage for their employees of $10 per hour plus $3 per hour in benefits-- the highest minimum wage established for any industry sector in the country.  If signed by the mayor, the law would raise pay for tens of thousands of worker

CA: State Rules FedEx Drivers Employees, Not Contractors

For years, the delivery company FedEx has claimed that its ground drivers are not employees but independent contractors-- meaning the company didn't have to pay for workers compensation, unemployment insurance or a range of other worker protections. But along with two Internal Revenue rulings, decisions by the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board have found that FedEx exercised such strict control over its drivers that their nominal independent

Hunger, Poverty, and Indicator Issues

Progressive States policy director Nathan Newman attended the Progressive Faith Blog Convention and talked about poverty and hunger. The blog Velveteen Rabbi wrote up his presentation. It's definitely worth a read -- especially the point about how certain issues act as indicators of larger value sets.

MT: Clergy Come Out in Support of Minimum Wage Hike

The Montana minimum wage initiative got quite a boost yesterday when clergy from around the state made clear their endorsement of the measure -- citing the Bible as one basis for their argument that their faith requires them to support helping low-income workers.
Vernon Wright, a Helena minister, said people earning minimum wage -- a yearly income of $10,712 -- are "stranded on the road of this economy." Wright said that just as Jesus Christ taught his followers to care for their

DC: Big Box Wage and Benefits Bill Introduced

Following Chicago's lead, DC Councilman Phill Mendelson has introduced a bill to require large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Costco to pay employees a living wage of $11 an hour plus health benefits worth at least $3 a hour. The bill also would give labor groups and the public access to public areas of a firm to communicate with employees about their rights. As we detailed in last week's Dispatch, a major committee and a majority of Chicago City Council members have endorsed a similar bill for that city.

The Minimum Wage in Your State

The AFL-CIO's website has a handy state-by-state tracker of efforts to increase the minimum wage that are taking place all over the country.