Tag Archives | minimum wage

Woman with 4 Jobs Dies While Napping in Car

By SpaceShoe via Flickr.

By SpaceShoe via Flickr.

This tragic death raises questions about the economy. It’s time to raise minimum wage – working four jobs and being forced to nap in one’s car between shifts to make ends meet is unacceptable. Minimum wage =/= livable wage and it should.

via AlterNet:

Maria Fernandes, 32, of Newark, NJ, worked four jobs, including two at different Dunkin Donuts stores. In between working, she would often park in public lots and catch up on sleep. She kept a can of gasoline in her car because she had occasionally run out of gas in the past during her job commutes.

On Monday, Fernandes pulled into a WaWa convenience store parking lot in Elizabeth, NJ, to nap. Concerned employees called 911. When emergency workers arrived and opened her car door, they were met with a toxic odor. Workers determined that Fernandes was dead and called Hazmat workers to the scene.

Fernandes died from inhaling a fatal mixture of carbon monoxide from her car, which was running, and the can of gasoline that spilled open in the back of her car.

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Fast Food Strikes Go Global

Striking fast foodworkers in Chicago. Photo by Aaron Cynic

Striking fast foodworkers in Chicago. Photo by Aaron Cynic

What began as a single day walk out in New York City has now become a global movement to raise wages and allow workers to unionize.

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Hundreds of fast food workers in Chicago picketed the Rock and Roll McDonald’s in River North most of Thursday, calling for higher wages and the right to organize a union. The protest was part of a worldwide day of strikes that took place in some 150 cities worldwide. It was the fifth such strike in Chicago calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage, which has since spread across the nation and now across the globe.

“I’d be able to provide my family some of the most basic things,” said Martina Ortega, a mother of three children who works at two different McDonald’s locations on the South Side. Ortega was one of many fast food workers who participated in the strike, including two who walked out of the McDonald’s on LaSalle and Ontario.… Read the rest

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Top 5 Worst Paying Corporations & Wal-Mart’s Wage War | Brainwash Update

Abby Martin discusses the US federal minimum wage law and calls out the top five corporations, such as Target, McDonalds and Yum Brands that refuse to pay their workers a living wage despite posting record profits and generously compensating their CEOs. Abby then speaks with RT political commentator, Sam Sacks, about Wal-Mart’s shady business practices, the decision by the National Labor Relations Board to go after the company for illegally firing workers after they decided to protest the store’s wage policies last year and the corporation’s decision to build six new stores in the District of Columbia.

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How the Black Death Spawned the Minimum Wage

Black_DeathOK, this should be good … from Bloomberg:

Fast-food joints, long inhospitable to any kind of labor activism, are suddenly beset by a surge in strikes. Over the past few months, workers at chains such as McDonalds Corp. havewalked off the job in more than 60 cities, demanding a “living wage” of $15 an hour. Regardless of whether the strikes lead to better pay, they have rekindled debate over what constitutes a living wage.

That debate, however, has stranger, older and more curious origins than either proponents or detractors of the living wage might imagine.

The story begins in medieval England in the 14th century. Life, never particularly easy at this time in history, had become especially nasty, brutish and short. The preceding year, the “Great Pestilence,” better known as the Black Death, had arrived in continental Europe. The pandemic, one contemporary noted, “began in India and, raging through the whole of infidel Syria and Egypt,” reached England in 1349, “where the same mortality destroyed more than a third of the men, women and children.”

Once the dead had been buried, feudal society was shaken to its core by a startling realization.

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It’s Time To Introduce A Global Minimum Wage

global minimum wage

Al Jazeera, Dr. Jason Hickel argues that a global minimum wage is not only just, but doable:

Because of neoliberal economic policies imposed over the past few decades, companies now have the power to rove the globe in search of what CEOs refer to as the “best investment conditions”.

So workers are made to face a stark choice: accept dangerous conditions and minimum wages of $0.21 per hour, or lose their jobs. The constant threat of replacement keeps workers cheap and docile, to the tremendous benefit of corporate profits.

The problem with globalisation is that capital has been globalised while the rules that protect people from it have not. If we’re going to have a global labour market, it stands to reason that we need a global system of labour standards [and] a global minimum wage.

Not only is it now conceivable to have a global minimum wage system, it’s also – for the first time in history – quite doable.

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The Mininum Wage Machine

Via Andrew Fishman’s Art, minimum wage machine is a sculpture installation by Blake Fall-Conroy, allowing anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they wish:

Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.

This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.

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Wikileaks: U.S. Forced Haiti To Nix Raising Its Minimum Wage To 62 Cents

ouanaminthe_784119Wikileaks unveils an incredibly infuriating revelation, via the Nation. To sum up: desperately poor Haiti planned to raise its minimum wage from 24 cents per hour to 62 cents, angering the contractors for U.S. corporations such as Levis and Hanes, who pay slave wages to Haitians who sew our clothes. The Obama administration intervened on behalf of those companies, and bullied the Haitian government into setting the mark at 32 cents. To put things in perspective, upping the hourly wage to 62 cents would have cost Hanes an additional $1.6 million each year. Hanesbrands turned $211 million in profit last year and CEO Richard Noll personally was paid $10 million.
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