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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

Clinton Is The “Slam Dunk” Choice For President And AFL-CIO To Kick Off “Battleground Blitz”

Transportation Trades Department praises Clinton as the clear choice this election.

AFL-CIO kicks off Labor 2016 campaign in battleground states.

After a stirring oration from President Barack Obama on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) released the following statement in support of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States:

“Last night, President Obama reminded us that Secretary Clinton is as ready as any candidate in history to be our commander in chief. Her experience, temperament and lifelong commitment to fighting for a country that is fair and treats everyone equally, combine to make the choice in this election a no-brainer.

“Secretary Clinton has a plan to put millions of people to work modernizing the economy, including our transportation system and infrastructure. Donald Trump’s GOP platform calls for the elimination of mass transit, reckless cuts to Amtrak and an austerity agenda that dooms any chance of reversing decades of neglect that have left our aging transportation system in a severe state of decay and disrepair.

“Secretary Clinton has put forward strong ideas for expanding our middle class by empowering millions to form and join unions, and bargain for fair wages and retirement security. Donald Trump has endorsed proposals that would gut collective bargaining and leave millions of working people to fend for themselves in an economy that features a widening wage gap and millions living in poverty.

“And Secretary Clinton has rejected the politics of fear and division designed to vilify and undermine the men and women who work in public service – from our cities and states to our federal government institutions. Donald Trump has endorsed a platform that attacks those people and the critical services they provide.

“The working people on the frontlines of our transportation system have grown weary of politicians who talk a good game but fail to offer real solutions. They are looking for a champion who will reach across the aisle and finally end this era of inaction and disinvestment that has left our transportation system reeling. Secretary Clinton is that champion, without question – and that’s a slam dunk.”

This morning, after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination from President of the United States, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“The AFL-CIO and 12.5 million working people across the nation congratulate Hillary Clinton on her historic nomination for president by the Democratic Party. We applaud the hard fought campaign that led to this moment. This is a momentous occasion for working women everywhere who are still fighting to level the playing field in their workplace and achieve equal pay for equal work. Hillary Clinton’s nomination signals our nation’s commitment to gender equality and we in the labor movement will lift up that commitment on a daily basis.

This is a moment for women, and all Americans, to celebrate. When my grandmother immigrated to America, she didn’t speak English. As a young woman, my mother couldn’t afford a college education. So, when I witnessed Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, I knew things were incredibly changed for the better. And when we elect Secretary Clinton in November, they will be changed forever.”

Concurrently with their message of support for Clinton’s nomination the AFL-CIO announced they would be kicking off a “battleground blitz” in support of Clinton and to defeat Donald Trump.

“Working people are unified behind Hillary Clinton and are ready to defeat Donald Trump in November. The Democratic Convention ended with an enthusiastic commitment to stand together to rewrite the economic rules so that all Americans can get ahead and stay ahead,” wrote the AFL-CIO.

The morning after the Convention ends, working people in every state are ready to take off and work to elect Hillary Clinton and other pro-worker candidates. The labor movement is launching an immediate series of events and actions, with 35 separate activities in 13 different cities planned between today and Sunday in the states of Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Working families are an unstoppable force when we stick together,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We spoke loud and strong and have helped put the country on a path to shared prosperity. We have driven the debate that put the brakes on the TPP and have established the standard for rewriting the economic rules that will shape this election.”

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre will be in South Florida this weekend for campaign kickoff events. Across the country, union members will be phone banking, canvassing and rallying to elect Hillary Clinton.

NH Joins Brief Supporting Federal Protections for Transgender Students

 restroom-304986_1280WASHINGTON – NH’s Attorney General, Joe Foster, has joined the Attorneys General of eleven other states in a brief filed by the state of Washington voicing support for a Guidance from the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (ED) which affirms protections for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Other states that joined Washington State in its filling included: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. 

In May, DOJ and ED issued the guidance, following numerous anti-transgender bills and laws passed in statehouses across the country – like North Carolina’s HB2 – discriminating against transgender people.

The Guidance, which is rooted in legal precedent, was issued as a reminder to public schools and universities that transgender students should have access to bathrooms that align with their gender identity. It is not legally binding, but can impact whether states with contradictory laws on the books stand to lose federal funding. A number of states challenged the Guidance, filing two different lawsuits over the past two months.

Today the ACLU joined five other national organizations in another brief filed before the Fifth Circuit which argues that many of the states and political jurisdictions joining the lawsuit against the Administration are doing so improperly in order to avoid transgender-affirming rulings handed down by their Federal Circuits.

In a brief obtained by BuzzFeed News, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson states that the Administration’s directives are “strongly in the public interest,” and “Contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden.” 

Currently in New Hampshire, transgender youth, adults and families lack explicit statewide protections ensuring they can’t be fired from their job, evicted from their home, or refused service at a restaurant or any other public place – including public schools and universities – simply because of their identity. “The Granite State takes pride in our independence and believes everyone should be free from discrimination. It is a step in the right direction as New Hampshire joins the ranks of states voicing their support for equal protection under the law for transgender students,” said Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of NH. “Equal protection under the law is an investment in public welfare and ensures fair treatment for all, regardless of identity or gender expression.”

Worker Wins Update: Broad Cooperation Key to Successful Contract Victories

(Washington, DC, ) Workers across the country are creating better lives for themselves and their families by using the power of collective bargaining to improve their working conditions on many levels. Here are some highlights from recent worker wins:

American Postal Workers Union Wins New 40-Month Contract: About 200,000 postal workers won a hard-fought victory that includes protections against layoffs, strengthened job security by limiting subcontracting and a temporary moratorium on new plant closings and consolidations. The agreement also rejected management’s demand that employees pay a greater share of health insurance premiums.

AFGE Increases Membership Across The Country: AFGE added 1,900 dues paying members between April and June and also organized an additional 250 employees at six new federal worksites who may become members. The largest new unit organizing win was at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina, where 112 physicians now have union representation. AFGE also successfully organized a new bargaining unit at the First U.S. Army in Rock Island, Illinois and 39 at the Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at San Joaquin in California.

Maui Community Supports Contract Win By Lifeguards: Maui County’s 55 lifeguards won a hard-fought battle to earn a decent living. Along with their law enforcement brothers and sisters, they earned a fair contract that includes a 16 percent raise. Maui County was the last jurisdiction in Hawaii to approve the Hawaii Government Employees Association/AFSCME Local 152 contract, which covers nearly 350 lifeguards and about 400 state law enforcement officers throughout the islands.

Charter School Workers In Ohio Win First Contract: The first-ever contract for charter school teachers in Cleveland will set salary ranges, increase job security and guaranteed education planning time. The “I Can” charter school teachers are now part of the Cleveland Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff which is affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers.

CWA Grows Nationwide:9,400 AT&T Mobility workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas won a four-year contract recently. About 300 workers at OFS, a fiber optic cable manufacturer, also won a four-year contract. The deal provides for retroactive wage increases and maintains all levels of benefits for active and retired workers without cost increases. Over the past year, about 1,000 technicians and other workers who provide television sports services at ABC and NBC have joined NABET-CWA.

IAFF Wins Expedited Claims Process for Fire Fighters Who Died from 9/11-Related Illness:After years of struggle, the IAFF has helped secure expedited consideration of claims submitted for fire fighter deaths and disabilities linked to toxic exposures from work related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The new protocol recognizes that 9/11-related illnesses are job-related, and will allow for speedier claims processing. The new protocol will allow the Department of Justice to begin awarding benefits to survivors of fire fighters who died from a 9/11-related illness.

30,000 IAMAW Workers Ratify United Airlines Contract:Approximately 30,000 IAM-represented United Airlines workers have achieved wage and pension increases of more than 40 percent after overwhelmingly ratifying seven contracts. The five-year deals also provide industry-best wages, work protections and retirement security.

UFCW Local 400 Wins Fight to Save Grocery Stores: Union and community members recently came together to prevent six Giant stores in Fredericksburg, Virginia and two in Southern Maryland from being sold. Workers were able to demonstrate that the sale of the stores would threaten wages, benefits and the overall grocery store experience that the Giant stores provide to the local community.

ThinkProgress Employees Ratify Writers Guild of America, East Contract: Editorial employees at ThinkProgress unanimously approved a contract with Center for American Progress. The contract offers guaranteed minimum salaries, editorial independence, paid family leave and job security.

Sununu Omits Key Point In Economic Plan

Chris Sununu Forgets To Mention He’d Strip Healthcare From 50,000 Granite Staters in New Video 

Concord, N.H. – Chris Sununu’s new web video omitted a crucial fact vital to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters and their families: he wants to take away their healthcare.

Sununu’s economic plan lays out in clear terms that he will support the repeal of New Hampshire’s successful Medicaid expansion—a program that has extended health benefits to nearly 50,000 low-income Granite Staters. 

He has a long track record of fighting against Medicaid expansion. In October 2013 Sununu was the only member of the Executive Council to vote against endorsing Gov. Hassan’s call for a special session to consider the recommendations of a commission that endorsed Medicaid expansion. Then, in July 2014 Sununu was one of two councilors to vote against a $292 million contract that would allow the N.H. Health Protection Program, or Medicaid expansion, to begin Sept. 1.

And yet, his new video omits any mention of his failed efforts to plan to repeal Medicaid expansion. 

“Chris Sununu has a long and concrete record of trying to prevent everyday Granite Staters from getting healthcare—his economic plan lays it out in no uncertain terms,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Sununu has long put his personal ideology ahead of the people of New Hampshire and no amount of video editing will change that.”

LiUNA President Speaks At Bloomberg Politics’ Infrastructure Event

Time for Investment in Clean Water, Energy, and Modern Transportation

Philadelphia, PA.  – Terry O’Sullivan, the General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) joined elected officials and business leaders today to discuss the future of American infrastructure at an event hosted by Bloomberg Politics and Building America’s Future during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

The panel looked at the critical gaps in our infrastructure and discussed future innovations that could support a word-class, state of the art infrastructure in the decades to come.

LIUNA represents a half-million construction workers who are vocal advocates for infrastructure investment not only because it will put food on the tables of hard-working men and women, but also because it’s critical to our daily lives – from the roads we drive on to the energy that heats our homes in the winter and keeps us cool in the summer.

O’Sullivan pointed out that when people think of infrastructure needs they often think of transportation. However, from energy infrastructure that meets the demands of tomorrow to repairing and rebuilding our aging water systems, needs are great and urgently need to be addressed. 

“Decades of underinvestment in our water infrastructure now threatens clean drinking water in many U.S. cities. We can’t continue to turn a blind eye to this. Flint was the tip of an iceberg,” noted O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan also argued for a build out of energy infrastructure that will help our nation meet Clean Power Plan goals and our increasing energy needs. “Natural gas is already helping us reduce carbon emissions and face the threat of climate change head-on. Policymakers should support safe and responsible development of this important resource.”

LIUNA supports a range of financing solutions to address the infrastructure investment gap. “Whether it’s Build America Bonds or public private investment, LIUNA supports innovative financing but only if built to the highest standards with skilled tradesmen and women,” said O’Sullivan.

When it comes to the 2016 Presidential Election, O’Sullivan emphasized that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach to advancing infrastructure investment is what the United States needs in a President.

O’Sullivan said, “Secretary Clinton has the expertise and experience to roll up her sleeves and get the job done from day one.  She will fight for investment in infrastructure built by skilled tradesmen and women that keeps our water clean, our lights on, and our roads and bridges safe.”

The event was held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention and was attended by party leaders, industry experts, and members of the press.

Labor Leaders Speak At The Democratic National Convention (VIDEO)

The Democratic National Convention is in full swing and there is so much going on it is easy to miss something.

On Day 1 of the DNC labor leaders from a variety of national unions spoke in support of Hillary Clinton and in opposition to the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.

Labor unions have stood in strong opposition to Donald Trump since he first announced his campaign when he attacked immigrants and threatened to tear apart families by deporting 11 million aspiring Americans.

Hillary has garnered strong support from labor unions throughout out the primary.  She gained more labor support when she came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and announced her bold infrastructure investment plan.

Nearly all of the labor leaders who spoke highlighted that the choice this election could not be clearer. Do we want a champion for working families or a shameless billionaire who has always been there to make a quick buck off the suffering of working people?

Here are just a few quotes from the video below as transcribed by C-Span:

AFSME President Lee Saunders
“HILLARY CLINTON NEVER QUITS EITHER. SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS STRENGTHEN ALL OF US. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO GETS THAT AND UNDERSTAND THAT BUSTING UNIONS AND CUTTING SERVICES MEANS FAMILIES SUFFER.”

“I WAS IN LAS VEGAS AT THE TRUMP HOTEL LAST WEEK AND THEY VOTED TO FORM A UNION. BUT DONALD TRUMP WILL NOT MEET WITH THEM.”

“I KNOW WHAT SIDE I AM ON. I AM WITH HER. ELECT HILLARY CLINTON THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
“WORKING PEOPLE ARE STRONG AND DONALD TRUMP IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. LISTEN, HE THINKS HE IS A TOUGH GUY. DONALD, I WORKED IN THE MINES WITH TOUGH GUYS. I KNOW TOUGH GUYS. DONALD, YOU ARE NO TOUGH GUY. YOU ARE A PHONY. DONALD TRUMP HAS REPEATEDLY OUTSOURCED JOBS TO LINE HIS OWN POCKETS. HE ROOTED FOR THE HOUSING COLLAPSE. HE SAID WAGES ARE TOO HIGH — NOT JUST ONCE, BUT REPEATEDLY. “

“WE ARE BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR A BETTER LIFE, NO MATTER THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN, WHERE WE WERE BORN, FOR WE LOVE, OR HOW WE WORSHIP. HILLARY CLINTON ANSWERED OUR CALL. SHE IS FIGHTING TO REWRITE THE ECONOMIC RULES FOR ALL OF US. SHE HAS A BOLD PLAN TO INVEST IN MANUFACTURING, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND JOBS. SHE OPPOSES THE JOB KILLING TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP.”

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia
“HILLARY CLINTON BELIEVES IN KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER. SHE BELIEVES IN OUR DREAMERS. SHE BELIEVES THAT EDUCATORS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON EDUCATION, NOT DEPORTATION.”

“DONALD TRUMP SEES IMMIGRANTS AS CRIMINALS, DRUG DEALERS ,RAPISTS? HE SAYS HE WOULD ROUND UP FAMILIES AND UP THEM AND BUILD A WALL — DEPART THEM AND BUILD THE WALL.”

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
“WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO WANTS TO RAISE WAGES IN THIS COUNTRY, NOT ONE THAT SAYS WAGES ARE TOO HIGH AND THERE SHOULD NOT BE A FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND CHAMPIONS UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT WHO WILL RAISE WAGES AND HEALTH WORKERS JOINED TOGETHER IN UNIONS.”

“WE MUST ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND THE CHAMPIONS LIKE HER WERE GOING TO PUT FAMILIES FIRST AND STOP THE CANDIDATE OF HATRED AND GREED.”

North American Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey
“TRADE UNION MEMBERS HAVE HELPED OF THIS GREAT NATION. THE SUPER DOME, THE GOLDING GATE BRIDGE, THE FREEDOM TOWERS, THE ARENA WE ARE IN TONIGHT. YOU NAME IT, WE BUILD IT. WE ARE PROUD OF OUR WORK. BUT WITH COLLAPSED BRIDGES, COMING ROADS AND STRESS ENERGY SYSTEMS, WE NOTICED HAVE TIME TO REBUILD OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE. BUILDING TRADE NUMBERS ARE READY TO DO THEIR PART.”

“HILLARY CLINTON HAS THE BOLDEST INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN WE HAVE SEEN IN GENERATIONS. SHE WILL HELP US REPAIR ROADS AND BRIDGES AND MAKE BROADBAND UNIVERSAL. BUILD NEW AIRPORTS AND MODERNIZE THE ENERGY GRID. SHE WILL DO IT ALL WHILE CREATING GOOD, FAIR PAINT JOBS WITH STANDARDS THAT SUPPORT REAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS WHICH THE BUILDING TRADES PIONEER.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
“DONALD MADE MILLIONS WHILE HE RIPPED OFF WORKERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WITH HIS UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES. REMEMBER, HE ENDED UP BANKRUPTING NOT ONE, NOT TWO, NOT THREE, BUT FOR OF HIS COMPANIES — BUT FOUR OF HIS COMPANIES. AND HIS ECONOMIC IDEAS WILL MAKE MILLIONAIRES LIKE HIM RICHER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.”

“[Donald Trump] IS COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED TO BE IN THE OVAL OFFICE.  
THANKFULLY, WE HAVE A DIFFERENT CHOICE AND IT IS A GREAT ONE. HILLARY CLINTON. SHE HAS WORKED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR WORKING FAMILIES. THAT’S US OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FROM PRE-K TO COLLEGE. A PLAN FOR UNIVERSAL EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.”

CWA Praises Nomination of Hillary Clinton for President

CWA-blue-line

Following is a statement by Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, on the nomination of Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. 

“The nomination of Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States is a historic step forward for our nation, and the Communications Workers of America is proud to work with her as together we build an America that works for working families. 

“Hillary Clinton is smart, thoughtful and experienced. She brings decades of commitment on behalf of working families, and for economic and social justice for all. 

“She doesn’t just talk, she delivers. Her record of public service shows a leader who stands up for workers’ bargaining and organizing rights, for family and medical leave and other programs that help working families.

“Secretary Clinton has pledged to ‘do everything in my power to defend American jobs and American workers. Any trade deal must meet three tests to earn my support: It must create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. I do not believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership meets this high standard. That’s why I oppose the TPP — and that means before and after the election.’   

“CWA has a large number of members and retirees in all the battleground states, and activists will be mobilizing and engaging to elect Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.” 

National Union of Healthcare Workers Members Endorse Hillary Clinton for President

Elected rank-and-file NUHW leaders vote 75 percent  to endorse the Democratic nominee

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. — Three hundred  and  fifty elected rank-and-file leaders representing 12,000 members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers voted 75 percent  to endorse Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. 

Last October, NUHW leaders voted 72 percent  to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, while Sec. Clinton garnered 17 percent. With Sanders out of the race and having endorsed Clinton, NUHW leaders have thrown their support behind Clinton. 

Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 7 percent  of the vote. Republican Donald Trump earned 6 percent . The remaining votes were divided among other candidates and “no endorsement.”

“Our members believe a Hillary Clinton administration is the best vehicle for advancing the progressive values and goals that were expressed by Sen. Sanders and embraced by NUHW members over the past year,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli. “Sanders and his supporters succeeded in establishing the most progressive platform in the party’s history. Now it’s time to come together with Clinton and her supporters to implement that vision. The first step is defeating Donald Trump in November.”

NUHW’s endorsements are part of a bottom-up democratic process. Last year, the union’s Executive Board, consisting of elected rank-and-file members, sent questionnaires to every Republican and Democratic candidate. Union stewards reviewed the questionnaires and discussed the election at monthly steward council meetings at each NUHW-represented hospital, clinic and nursing home, and discussed the candidates with their constituent members in each facility. 

On Day One Of The DNC, Labor Advocates Push For A Higher Minimum Wage #RaiseItDamnIt

On First Day Of Democratic National Convention, CWA, SEIU Presidents, PA Senate Candidate, L.A. Mayor Call On Congress To Raise the Minimum Wage

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

National and state advocates launch #RaiseItDamnIt campaign to declare $7.25 is not enough on the 7th anniversary of last increase in the federal minimum wage

As Republicans in Congress block minimum wage increase, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have raised the wage since 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton, Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry, Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate Katie McGinty, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Working Families Party National Director Dan Cantor, Bishop Dwayne Royster and airport worker Onetha McKnight today called for policymakers and businesses to ensure all working people earn a living wage.

Coming on the heels of the most divisive and anti-worker Republican National Convention ever, over 100 advocacy groups, including Center for American Progress, Center for Popular Democracy, Economic Policy Institute, the Fairness Project, National Employment Law Project, the Working Families Party, and others are holding a national day of action on the anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour.  More than 50 canvassers arrived in Philadelphia as the Democratic National Convention began, and actions in states around the country are demonstrating support to #RaiseItDamnIt on social media with a trending hashtag and over 1 million social media impressions so far today. Popular Twitter accounts also tweeted about the day of action, including: @BarackObama, @SenatorReid, @LaborSec, @PattyMurray. and others. The website, RaiseItDamnIt.org, will continue to be the online organizing hub of activity.

“Working families are suffering because, for too long, our elected officials have refused to act. A living wage isn’t a luxury, it’s a right that must be enforced by raising the federal minimum wage,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. 

“All workers deserve $15 an hour and the ability to have a voice on the job by joining a union,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “This November, working families face a clear choice between Hillary Clinton, who supports our movement, and Donald Trump, who thinks wages are already too high. This election is the most consequential of their lifetime and the stakes could not be higher.”

The last increase to the minimum wage was signed into law in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and supported by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Raising the wage is popular with the American public: 63 percent of Americans support a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2020, and a September 2015 poll found that, by a 3-1 margin, voters are more likely to support political candidates who favor raising the minimum wage.  

“It is time for us to enable our citizens to be able to make a living wage and have the opportunity to thrive,” said Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty. “Right now, people making the minimum wage are struggling to get by, and we need to do better for Pennsylvania workers and for workers around the country.” 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who signed a $15 an hour minimum wage bill into law in Los Angeles in 2015 said, “No American who works hard should be forced to live in poverty. For the 600,000 Angelenos this will affect, the bill is a lifesaver. But we can’t stop until all Americans earn a living wage.”

“There are millions of Americans in states red, blue, and purple who struggle to put food on the table everyday. It’s a national disgrace,” said Dan Cantor, National Director of the Working Families Party. “Politicians should shut out the lobbyists for the 1 percent long enough to hear the truth, and those who can’t should pay the price.”

Four states will also bring minimum wage referendums to their voters this fall, as Colorado today submitted 200,000 signatures, more than twice the required amount, to join Arizona, Maine, and Washington. This comes on the heels of two of the most populous states in the country – California and New York – passing a $15 an hour minimum wage increase, earlier this year.

“As a father, husband, minister and social justice advocate in Philadelphia, I see first-hand how the minimum wage marginalizes people of color and contributes to the cycle of poverty we are stuck in,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, Founding Pastor of Living Water UCC. “Economic justice must be sought alongside racial justice.”

“I stood with my brothers and sisters on strike to demand what we deserve: a higher wage and access to a union,” said Onetha McKnight, a wheelchair attendant at Philadelphia International Airport. McKnight and her co-workers have been organizing for more than three years and just last week were victorious in their demands for a fair process to form their union and negotiate a living wage

“Because of Republican obstruction, the federal minimum wage has been frozen at just $7.25 for seven years – locking more than 35 million American workers in low-paying jobs. Today, families and voters across the country are saying enough is enough – we need national leadership that will #RaiseItDamnIt,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund.

“The call for a higher minimum wage is getting louder all around the country – because it’s getting harder and harder to put food on the table, afford rent, or support a family,” said JoEllen Chernow, Director of Economic Justice at Center for Popular Democracy. “We’ve waited nearly a decade for a meaningful raise, and we simply cannot wait one more. It’s time to give Americans a raise and ensure we support all working families in this country.”

Dan Weeks lauds Durham solar array and urges Executive Council to support clean energy economy

Dan Weeks Durham SolarDURHAM, NH – Executive Council candidate and government reformer Dan Weeks attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $2.1 million, 651-kilowatt Oyster River Forest Solar Array, the second-largest solar project in New Hampshire. Weeks praised the project developers, ReVision Energy, IGS Solar, and the Town of Durham, and urged his opponent to allow New Hampshire municipalities to follow Durham’s lead in building the state’s clean energy economy.

Weeks is challenging District 5 incumbent Councilor David Wheeler, who opposed the Durham array and has consistently voted to block municipal solar systems as recommended to the Executive Council by the Public Utilities Commission. Funding for such projects is provided, in part, by the NH Renewable Energy Fund, which receives payments from private utilities for non-compliance with the state’s clean energy requirements. No tax funds are included in the fund.

“New Hampshire is on the verge of a new clean energy economy, with the potential to generate thousands more middle-class jobs and put our environment on a more sustainable course for future generations,” Weeks said. “It is time for Executive Councilors to stop their senseless denial of climate science and allow the New Hampshire Renewable Energy Fund to do its job.”

The Oyster River Solar Array was made possible through a $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Fund after Republican Councilor Joe Kenney switched sides and joined the two Democratic Councilors in approving the project last June. Councilor David Wheeler, who is backed by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity which rejects climate science, was one of two Republicans who voted to block the project. Republican Councilors have succeeded in blocking similar municipal clean energy projects in the past.

According to project developer Revision Energy, the Durham solar field will generate over 850,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year for an annual CO2 reduction of nearly 1.5 million pounds. With an estimated payback period of 5-10 years and minimal maintenance, the system is expected to generate free energy and considerable cost savings for the town of Durham for the next 30-50 years.

New Hampshire currently ranks near the bottom of northeastern states in adoption of renewable energy and second highest in per-capita carbon consumption, despite the fact that the state’s nascent renewable energy sector has already seen over 70 startup companies and thousands of jobs created to meet the burgeoning demand from residential and business consumers. Weeks and his family generate the bulk of their energy from a 17-panel rooftop solar array.

“As New Hampshire’s highest elected body charged with approving state spending and appointments, it is the Executive Council’s job to make smart investments for the good of future generations,” Weeks concluded. “I respectfully urge my opponent to rethink his ideological opposition to renewables and support the clean energy economy for the good of our citizens and the natural environment.”

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