POWER Pushes the Issue — and Gets Workers a Raise!

POWER Pushes the Issue — and Gets Workers a Raise!

This afternoon, when Mayor Nutter signed an Executive Order that extends the City’s current 21st Minimum Wage law to sub-contractors of City subsidized projects, he said he was moved by President Obama’s example and Wilson Goode’s tireless efforts as a champion of living wages for this city. When asked why he changed his position on this issue, the mayor responded by saying how much two men made a difference in his thinking.

When Councilman Goode spoke, however, he got closer to the truth. He made the bold declaration that the “local movement to push progressive economic policy is being led by SEIU 32BJ, POWER, and Fight for Philly.”

We’ve been at this for 2 and 1/2 years. We didn’t win what we wanted when we went up against U.S. Air. But we got Councilman Goode to introduce what will be Ballot Measure # 1 on the ballot at the upcoming May 20th election. When Goode first announced his initiative to extend 21st Century wages to employees of the city’s subcontractors, he thanked POWER for our fight for airport workers.

And we’ve kept at it. Telling stories of the pain of parents who can’t raise families on inadequate wages. And telling unlikely voters that they can make a difference at the poll by supporting Amendment 1.

And today the Mayor surprised us, two weeks before the election, signing his executive order, joining us for justice for our city’s lowest paid workers.

The executive order will benefit thousands of workers by creating a wage floor of $10.88/hr. and providing health care and paid sick leave. In addition, the wage rate is tied to inflation thus beginning in 2015 it will increase to $12.00/hr.

But we still need get out the vote to pass Ballot Measure #1 on May 20th!

Here’s the REASONS why voting YES on Ballot Measure #1 still matters:

1) This Mayor or any future mayor could revoke an Executive Order at anytime, whereas a Charter change is permanent.

2) An Executive Order is monitored by the Administration alone, whereas a Charter change can be enforced by City Council.

3) The Executive Order is limited to one tier of sub-contractors, whereas the Charter change would ensure all contracting levels are covered.

Help us vote for livable wages that can make a city that works for all.