Tag Archives: minimum wage

A May Day Reminder about the Fight for 15

By S. Christopher Emerson

Those who are fighting for $15/hour generally consider that wage a concession toward a “living wage.”  The argument is not just an economic issue, but moreover, a social/human issue, as in “I’m a human being and I deserve to be able to reasonably care for myself and my family while working a job.”

But in our current economic conditions, it generally takes more than $15/hour to make a living, as is shown on this map based on 2016 data from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): http://resistancereport.com/class-war/wage-apartment-your-state/

One of the arguments in the Fight for 15 is that the standard of living has gone up exponentially compared to lower and middle class wages. But upper class salaries have increased in better parity with the standard of living, which indicates wage/economic INEQUITY and oppression against lower and middle class wage earners.

Another argument within Fight for 15 is actually a counter argument. Some detractors suggest that minimum wage workers (1) don’t work hard, or as hard as higher wage earners, and (2) that lower wage jobs are unskilled and therefore deserving of the meager wages they get. But there are DEFINITELY skills involved in most lower wage work and studies have shown that low wage earners work as hard, if not harder, than many middle and upper wage earners.

Missouri Supreme Court Ruled St. Louis Can Raise Minimum Wage

By S. Christopher Emerson

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City

St. Louis is able to increase its minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2018, ruled the Missouri Supreme Court Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

The decision reverses a 2015 circuit court finding that nullified the hike hours before it was to take effect in a suit that alleged the increase violated state law, filed by business groups.

The Missouri Supreme Court found that the wage hike did not break state law.

“Its purpose of protecting employees is served by setting a floor for minimum wages; nothing in the law suggests the state also wanted to protect employers by setting a maximum minimum wage,” wrote Judge

Fight for $15 Continues in St. Louis

By Free Radical

econpicLast Tuesday, communities across the country continued the nationwide fight for a $15 minimum wage. The movement has been a rallying cry for economic justice and the financial welfare of millions of US workers.

Demonstrations occurred in various St. Louis metropolitan locales. One such site was the downtown McDonald’s restaurant on Tucker Blvd. According to local sources, nearly 100 protesters arrived Tuesday morning for nearly a half hour. They successfully blocked the drive thru and deterred other customers from entering the dining area.

While the Tucker protest was completed without any arrests, the same cannot be said about demonstrations at a McDonalds on Hampton Avenue near Interstate 44.  Approximately 200 people converged

NY Fast Food Workers Earn $15 Minimum Wage

New York is primed to raise the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15. This comes after years of grassroots activism.

New York is primed to raise the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15. This comes after years of grassroots activism.

By Free Radical

After years of protests and demonstrations, all fast food workers in New York are set to earn $15. Last week, a state panel appointed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo resolved to gradually increase the minimum wage in this industry. The final step is that it has to be approved by the state’s acting Commissioner of Labor Mario Musolino.

While $15 is helpful, and will bring in more income than the current wage floor of $8.75, it will still be difficult to make ends meet in New York. This was partially acknowledged by the board which decided to require businesses in New York City to raise their minimum wage faster than other parts of the state.

Fast food employees in NYC will make $15 by 2018, while their counterparts in other areas won’t make $15 until 2021.

The increase in the fast food industry will likely lead to raises in other low-wage industries. Cuomo also believes that other states will follow New York’s lead, stating, “When New York acts, the rest of the states follow. We’ve always been different, always been first, always been the most progressive.”

Actually, other cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have already passed resolutions raising their minimum wage workers pay to $15. Chicago has passed a hike to $13/hour and Washington D.C. proposed an increase to $15.

Just recently, it seemed likely that St. Louis would also raise its minimum wage to $15, but a late move by St. Louis Alderman Joe Vaccaro roadblocked the measure.

Also last week, University City, MO Councilwoman Hazel Erby announced that she plans to introduce a $15 minimum wage for St. Louis County.