Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

Current Event Cat of the Day: State of the Union Address

Current Event Cat - Income Inequality State of the Union Address

It’s that time of year again: State of the Union Address Day! Tonight President Obama will address income inequality in his annual State of the Union Address and announce his executive move to increase the government minimum wage.

President Obama plans to stick it to Congress by bypassing them and using his executive powers to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for workers on new government contracts. Unfortunately for most minimum wage employees, this only applies to janitors, construction workers and others working for federal contractors. So the measure will only really benefit a few hundred thousand workers – at most.

“Hardworking Americans—including janitors and construction workers—working on new federal contracts will benefit from the Executive Order,” the White House said in a statement.

Obama will also call on Congress to pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for the nearly 21 million non-government employees making minimum wage – because calling on Congress is almost as good as bypassing Congress altogether. Plus it worked out so well last year when Obama asked Congress (in his State of the Union Address) to raise the minimum wage for all workers, only to watch Republicans tear the legislation to pieces, arguing it would hurt businesses, stifle job creation, and destroy America.

But at the very least, Obama’s new executive order underscores an increased willingness to ignore Congress and get some legislation passed. After all, he only has three years left!

“You can be sure that the president fully intends to use his executive authority to use the unique powers of the office to make progress on economic opportunity, to make progress in the areas that he believes are so important to further economic growth and further job creation,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Monday.

Aside from income inequality, long-term joblessness, expansion of early childhood education and infrastructure spending are also on the State of the Union agenda.

rubio-waterAnd don’t forget to stay tuned to the Republican rebuttal! This year the GOP is doing things a bit differently by having several Republicans address Obama’s speech instead of the traditional single voice. I guess they learned a thing or two after Marco Rubio’s mini water bottle gaffe went viral. Anyways, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State will deliver the official response on behalf of the Republican Party but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will release a taped address and Utah Senator Mike Lee will offer a response on behalf of the populist, anti-tax tea party movement.

Via: New York Times

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McDonald’s Has Some Great Advice For Employees: Return Holiday Gifts to Get Out Of Debt And Stop Complaining

McResource Employees

McDonald’s knows how hard it is for employees to make ends meet – they’ve seen their $7.25 an hour paychecks. So the fast food giant set up a help website for McDonald’s employees called McResource.

The website Low Pay Is Not OK posted a few screenshots from the McResource site, which offers the following tips to employees:

  • You may want to also consider returning some of your unopened purchases that may not seem as appealing as they did.
  • Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.
  • Breaking food into smaller pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.
  • Stop complaining. Stress hormones rise by 15% after 10 minutes of complaining.
  • At least two vacations a year can cut heart attack risk by 50%.

So can avoiding McDonald’s food – even if you do chop it up into smaller deep-fried pieces. Anyways, I’ve gotten more useful information from my cats, but McDonald’s is sticking to its McResource advice.

“This is an attempt by an outside organization to undermine a well-intended employee assistance resource website by taking isolated portions out of context,” a McDOnald’s spokeswoman wrote. “The McResource website has helped countless employees by providing them with a variety of information and resources on topics ranging from health and wellness to stress and financial management.”

McDonald’s was also criticized earlier this year for the sample budget it provided to employees which suggested picking up a second job and making do without heat. But at least they haven’t set up an employee food drive for their own employees… Walmart.

Via: Business Insider

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Walmart Organizes Thanksgiving Food Drive… For Its Own Employees

Walmart

A Walmart in Cleveland is collecting food for the needy – the needy being Walmart’s own employees who can’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner.

Walmart Bins“Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner,” reads a sign accompanied by several purple and orange plastic bins. Translation: “Please feed the employees we don’t pay well enough to feed themselves.”

The bins are tucked away in an employee area so only low wage employees can donate to other low wage employees. Now where could they find some low-cost food to donate…? Walmart!

Once the picture became viral, the food drive sparked some outrage in the area.

“I went through the emotion of compassion for the employees, working for the largest food chain in America, making low wages, and who can’t afford to provide their families with a good Thanksgiving holiday,” Norma Mills, a customer at the store, told the Plain Dealer.

“That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers – to me, it is a moral outrage.”

Employees were equally upset, calling the bins “demoralizing” and “kind of depressing.” And they work at Walmart so for something to depress them, it’s got to be pretty damn depressing.

But Walmart says the food drive is proof that that employees care about each other. And that Walmart doesn’t….

Walmart, which turned a profit of $15.7 billion last year, is being criticized for paying ridiculously low wages to its 2.2 million employees. Strikes against Walmart have been popping up all over the country with protesters demanding higher wages, more full time work, and “ending illegal retaliation” against employees who speak out against pay and working conditions. Low wage Walmart workers in Cincinnati and Dayton went on strike Monday and they can give thanks to the Thanksgiving food drive – because if there was any ever proof that $7.85 an hour was not enough to live on, it’s a food drive for employees.

Via: The Plain Dealer

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California Raises Minimum Wage to $10…. but not until 2016

Fast Food Workers-Pay Minimum Wage

Good news for McDonald’s employees of California – they only have to work TWO jobs now to get by! The state of California is set to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour.

But not until 2016… The current minimum wage is $8, but it will rise to $9 in July 2014, and to $10 by January 2016. Better late than never?

An hourly rate of $10 is still below Canadian standards but well above the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25. And, once the wage hike takes effect, California will have the highest minimum wage out of all the states. Washington state has the highest at $9.19 an hour, followed by Oregon at $8.95 and Vermont at $8.60. And the lowest? Georgia and Wyoming tie for the win at $5.15 an hour! Yikes.

The Democrat-control state Senate passed the bill and Governor Jerry Brown has pledged to sign it. The 25% increase is the first minimum-wage hike in California in five years and according to Jerry Brown, it’s about time.

“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,” Brown said in a statement. “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

Republicans have been critical of the bill, which they say will hurt small business/Wal-Mart owners. The California Chamber of Commerce is equally unimpressed, calling the wage hike a “job killer”.

“A 25% increase in labor costs will result in fewer job opportunities for Californians looking to get back on their feet,” the group said on its website.

Maybe so, but with an extra $2 an hour, those McDonald’s employees will definitely be able to maintain their budget journal! Maybe they can use it to up their heating costs from $0 to something.

Via: The Los Angeles Times

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McDonald’s Helps Workers Budget by Telling Them to Get a Second Job

McDonald's Money SKills

Minimum wage has become a hot topic as of late but McDonald’s has you covered!

Fear not minimum wage earners! McDonald’s partnered with Visa to launch a website to help its low-wage workers budget. The budget is based on the average minimum wage of $8.25 an hour and includes a sample budget journal.

First, in order to survive off a minimum wage McDonald’s job, you will need a second full-time job. Makes sense, but if McDonald’s need to tell their employees to get a second job in order to survive, they might not be paying them a high enough wage. With two full-time minimum wage jobs you will need to work 74 hours a week to stick to the budget. Luckily you won’t have to worry about entertainment expenses because you won’t have any free time – what with all the working and sleeping.

What else does the budget allow?

Rent: $600 a month. That sounds reasonable if you’re living in a 100sq foot basement apartment in the middle of nowhere.

Health insurance: $20 a month. Bandaids and Nyquil – check!

Heating: $0 a month. Who needs heat when you can just develop a healthy layer of BigMac fat over your body? Keeps you warm and full! Doesn’t really help with the health insurance though….

Monthly “spending money”: $800 a month. This includes gas, food, clothing, childcare, Starbucks runs and everything else. Clearly the low food budget implies McDonald’s workers should just sneak some McNuggets when the manager isn’t looking.

McDonald's Budget

McDonald’s budget conclusion? “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.”

Except for money of course.

Via: Forbes & McDonald’s

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