The Fight For 15: Punching In

A revealing look at the Fight For $15

Here’s what it’s really like to be a low wage worker at McDonald’s.

In favor of paid sick days? This city is

The City Council of East Orange, New Jersey unanimously voted to give paid sick days to 10,000 workers.

Economy, economy, economy

That’s the number one issue for voters this election and Democrats, apparently, have got it in the bag.

The New Kochs: Punching In

A Bill of Rights?

A San Francisco-based small business owner pushes for a retail worker bill of rights, designed to make life easier for many hourly workers in the area.

The new Kochs in town

In an attempt to thwart the billionaire brothers, the AFL-CIO launched a new campaign last week focused on two hardworking women with the last name Koch. They’re calling them the Koch sisters.

California workers gearing up for earned sick days

A sick-leave bill passed the California State Assembly last week. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign it into law, making California the second state to require private employers to provide earned sick days.

Three Great Reasons Why Fast Food Workers Are Striking Today


Today thousands of fast food workers, with a little bit of help from some homecare workers, went on strike in 100 cities and staged sit-ins in 12 cities.

Organizers are calling it a day of non-violent civil disobedience.

Workers, who have been striking for months now, are demanding a $15 wage and the ability to join a union. The demands seem pretty straightforward, but there are some specific reasons as to exactly why fast food workers are striking:

1. Because $9 an hour doesn’t support a family.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fast food workers make, on average, $18,880 a year. According to the living wage calculator, that amount would put a family of two at the poverty level. CNN Money reported that a Chicago-based McDonald’s worker Nancy Salgado makes $8.25 an hour, or $600 a month. Salgado, who is a single mother to two kids, notes that after splitting rent with her three roommates and paying for childcare she’s left with a little over $100 a month for food and other necessities. “If I have a dollar at the end of the month it’s a miracle,” Salgado said.

2. Because taxpayers spend billions on fast food workers’ public assistance. The reality is that, with the wages most fast food workers are paid, many qualify for some sort of public assistance. In fact, According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, low wages in the fast food industry cost taxpayers about $7 billion a year in public assistance and NPR reports that 52 percent of fast food workers rely on public assistance.  The New York Daily News reported that 81 year old fast food worker Jose Carrillo, who’s received a 10 cent raise in 10 years, would not be able to survive on his $8.10 an hour wage if it wasn’t for “food stamps and Medicare”.

3. And because a union will help. Whether it’s higher wages or better benefits, many fast food workers could use the protections of a union. For example McDonald’s has been hit with a slew of lawsuits alleging wage theft violations, seven in March alone, that accuse the golden arches of failing to pay workers for overtime and forcing them to work while off the clock. Unions, traditionally, are great advocates for workers, ensuring that workers get a fair and safe workplace, proper compensation for work done and an advocate for most work-related issues or problems.

Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr.

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The Fight For A Fair Wage: Punching In

Can’t stop, won’t stop

Fast food workers across the country have planned yet another strike on Thursday and this time they’re bringing home care workers with them.

The world’s most competitive economy…

Is Switzerland, again.

Cantor’s rebound

The former GOP majority leader has accepted a job with a Wall Street bank. His reported salary will be $3.4 million.

No help? No problem

Here’s how workers are taking minimum wage into their own hands, without help from elected officials.


Happy Labor Day: Here’s Some Stats You Probably Didn’t Know

In honor of labor day, NBC News put together an informative infographic that details the realities for many U.S. workers. Check it out below:


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Hey Middle Class Folks: If You Think Income Inequality Isn’t Costing You, Think Again


The rampant income inequality in the U.S. costs middle class workers about $18,000 a year.

That’s how much middle class incomes have been reduced by since the surge in inequality from 1979 to 2007, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.

According to ThinkProgress:

“The paper notes that during that time period, income for more than 90 percent of American households grew more slowly than average income growth. That’s because the average was skewed by fast growth at the top: Income growth for households between the top 96th and 99th percentiles grew by more than 78 percent, and the top 1 percent’s income growth was a whopping 245 percent.”

The chart below illustrates what middle class incomes would look like, had the middle class grown at an average rate:

Despite rampant income inequality in the U.S., we’re committed to raising wages and giving workers access to better jobs and a just economy. For more information on out initiatives, please visit:

Photo courtesy of davitydave via Flickr.

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The Recession’s Still Here? It Sure Feels Like It: Punching In

What recovery?

If you feel like the recession never ended, here’s why.

When public healthcare goes private

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Corbett’s plan to use federal money to offer private healthcare was approved.

Obamacare premiums will decrease

In Arkansas by at least 2 percent. Great news!

What Mitch McConnell Really Thinks: Punching In

And he’s back!

After months of protests from workers and community members, Market Basket president got his job back yesterday.

Fall into the Gap of equal pay

There’s no pay gap here. Clothing retailer the Gap has disclosed that its male and female employees are paid equally.

Oh Mitch

A leaked audio recording of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell revealed his plans for a Republican controlled Senate, during a Koch-sponsored summit.

Additionally, while discussing raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed McConnell noted that, “These people believe in all the wrong things.”

The Middle Class and Minimum Wage: Punching In

Just how bad is it for the middle class?

Take a look at these two numbers.

Key Quote: “The middle-income American family is worse off, in other words, than it was 14 years ago,” says Neil Irwin.

A meeting of the minds

In Illinois, Gov. Quinn, Mayor Emmanuel and Vice President Joe Biden met with small business owners to discuss the raise the wage initiative.

Apparently there’s a plethora of black and Hispanic workers in Silicon Valley

But most of them receive lower pay and inferior benefits.

Avoiding taxes, raising the wage, and who will take the Senate: Punching In

Burger King’s tax inversion scheme

If Burger King buys a Canadian-based doughnut chain, it will benefit from a drastically lower corporate tax rate of 15 percent, compared to the 35 percent rate in the U.S.

A race for the Senate

According to DailyKos’ statistical model, Democrats have a 47 percent chance of holding the Senate.

Alaskans for a higher minimum wage?

In Fairbanks, a group of union members gathered to show support for placing minimum wage on the ballot initiative this fall.