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McCain Amendment to Keystone Pipeline Bill Blasted as a Job Killer by Sea Captains’ Union

John McCain (Image by Gage Skidmore CC Flikr)
John McCain (Image by Gage Skidmore CC Flikr)

(Image by Gage Skidmore CC Flikr)

 International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots Asks:       If Keystone is a “Jobs Bill” Why Would Congress Want to Send 400,000 Maritime Jobs in 26 States Overseas? 

WASHINGTON  –  S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, has been described as a “jobs bill” by the pipeline’s proponents since Keystone XL was first proposed, but a new amendment introduced by Arizona Sen. John McCain would turn S.1 into a “job killer” of epic and irreversible proportions.  The McCain amendment would gut a significant part of the Jones Act, a set of laws dating back to the 1920s that has helped build and maintain a domestic shipbuilding industry. Maritime unions and maritime industry groups are now mobilizing against the amendment’s passage. Among those actively opposing passage are the Maritime Labor Alliance and its coalition of maritime unions, and others in maritime and transportation labor, along with the Shipbuilders Council of America and the American Maritime Partnership.

“In Washington sometimes up is down and offense is defense, but an amendment that seeks to eliminate highly-skilled steady middle-class jobs employing hundreds of thousands of our countrymen should never be called good for America,” said Captain Don Marcus, who serves as the President of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, a union representing sea captains and deck officers on U.S. flagged vessels. “This is beyond hypocrisy,” he added.

McCain’s amendment, which has nothing to do with a pipeline that traverses the largely landlocked states of the Great Plains, seeks to repeal the build provisions of the Jones Act, the cabotage laws that require ships plying domestic waters to be built in the United States.

If S.1 is passed with McCain’s amendment included, it would decimate the nation’s shipping industry, eliminating as many as 400,000 U.S. jobs spread over 26 states, lead to the closing of shipyards and related industries, reduce GDP by an estimated $36 billion and erase $24 billion in American workers’ wages and benefits, according to figures compiled by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department.

Using Florida as an example, 21,890 shipyard jobs generating $1.6 billion in annual economic activity would be at risk, including more than $1 billion in labor income, according to the U.S Maritime Administration.

The economic threat to their state’s largest private sector business is why Mississippi Senators, Republicans Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, have publicly opposed McCain’s amendment. Shipbuilding represents 23,450 jobs in Mississippi. The industry’s economic impact to the Gulf Coast state’s GDP is $2 billion, according to figures from the American Maritime Partnership.

Senators from across the aisle, including Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), oppose the change to the Jones Act.  Both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have significant shipbuilding industries.

The parties that would most benefit from this amendment are heavily subsidized foreign shipping competitors not subject to U.S. laws, regulations, environmental standards and taxes.  Inexplicably, Senator McCain and his supporters would rather see fuel and cargo hauled in U.S. waters on tankers and freighters built overseas and operated by foreign crews rather than American-made ships staffed by U.S. citizens. “It’s outrageous that John McCain is doing this,” said Marcus.

Beyond the threat to the domestic economy, this amendment would also threaten national security by destabilizing the military’s strategic sealift needs. The Jones Act ensures that the U.S. has a reliable source of domestically built ships and skilled American crews available for its military and humanitarian aid operations. “Without the sealift capability and American maritime jobs provided by the Jones Act and the Maritime Security Program,” said Marcus, “the U.S. Armed Forces would be forced to rely on foreign-flag ships and crews with unknown loyalties to transport critical military cargo and personnel to overseas operations. Bad idea.” Among the groups that have voiced opposition to the McCain Amendment is the Navy League of the United States.

For more information on the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, please visit www.bridgedeck.org

MLK Day Message: the Power of the People can be Stronger than the Power of Money (InZane Times)

Dr Martin Luther King

Dr Martin Luther King

I was honored once again to be invited to offer the “community update” at Southern New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Breakfast.  Here’s what I said on January 19 at the Alpine Grove in Hollis:

Honor and pleasure to be invited back. Thanks to Irving, Linda, Ray, and Governor Hassan. And congratulations to OBU for the 31st annual breakfast.

I want to begin by saying a few words about inequality, and I’ve learned that a trick to effective public speaking is to tell people stuff that they already know.

We know that for most families, most workers, most ordinary people, take home pay has been stagnant since the 1970s, two generations.

At the same time we know that the rich are getting richer.

The ultra rich are getting ultra richer.

The mega rich are getting mega richer.

And the giga rich are getting giga richer.

This has caused economic inequality to rise to record levels.

And we know that when race is added to the equation the situation is even more unequal. Net worth of white families is five times that of black families.

I think we know what Dr. King would say about that. He would say,

“The misuse of capitalism can lead to tragic exploitation.”

We know what Martin Luther King would do because we know what he did. We know what he was doing at the time he was killed. He was supporting working people in a strike for dignity in the workplace and calling on the federal government to take sides with the locked out, the cast out and the left out.

What else do we know?

We know that fifty years ago at this time Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were engaged in a dramatic campaign in Selma Alabama to win the right to vote for Black people who had been denied their rights.

We know that after marches, arrests, beatings, and several murders of voting rights activists that the Congress approved the Voting Rights Act. At last it became possible for African Americans to use the ballot to elect people who would respond to their interests.

What’s the state of voting rights now? It’s not good.

We know that in state after state – including New Hampshire – legislatures have adopted laws like photo ID requirements and other restrictions that make it harder for people to vote when we ought to be making it easier.

We know that the US Supreme Court struck down an essential element of the Voting Rights Act.

And we know that five years ago this Wednesday, the Supreme Court declared that since corporations are people (really) and money is speech (yup), that restricting the ability of corporations to invest their money in the electoral system violates the first amendment protection of free speech. This widened the gates for floods of corporate cash into our electoral system. Instead of one person one vote we are getting a one dollar one vote democracy.

We know what Dr. King would say, something like, “Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are going to be a truly great nation you must solve this problem.”

I want to suggest a couple ways we can help solve this problem.

First, at the State House this year there will be a mighty fight over the state budget. The question our lawmakers will face is whether they will protect the interests of the well off or take the side of the locked out, the left out, the least of these. They will also consider a range of bills dealing with voting rights, some to make it harder to vote, some to make it easier, and some to reduce the influence of money in our elections.

You may have heard about a group in North Carolina, headed by Rev. Dr. Barber of the North Carolina NAACP, that brings a prayerful presence into their state capitol every week. They call it “Moral Mondays.

We’ve got a group like that here. We call ourselves “New Hampshire Voices of Faith.” Mondays are pretty quiet up in Concord, so we’re more likely to show up for “Witnessing Wednesdays,” bringing a multi-faith, prayerful presence for justice into the State House. We’ll be calling on our lawmakers to let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Look for us on Facebook at NH Voices of Faith. And if you are not receiving my weekly “State House Watch” newsletter by email, let me know and I’ll add you to our mailing list.

But we’ve got another big opportunity, one that comes around every four years.

New Hampshire has the eyes of the world on us because of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. The candidates are already among us. You might need to set some extra tables for next year’s breakfast. That means we’ve got the opportunity – and with that the responsibility – to let them know what’s on our minds. As Governor Hassan said, “democracy is not an every other year sport.”

At the American Friends Service Committee, we’ve got a new project we call “Governing Under the Influence.” It’s about the excessive power in the hands of big corporations – corporations that profit from violence, corporations that profit from prisons, corporations that profit from war. It’s about demanding that the democracy believe in is rooted in the one person, one vote principle, not in rule by those with the most money. We’ll be keeping track of the candidates’ whereabouts. Get in touch if you want to get involved.

But by all means use every opportunity to tell the presidential wannabes what is on your mind.

We who lift up the example of Martin Luther King, Jr. know that the struggle can be hard. We know the struggle can be long, but that ultimately we have faith that the power of the people can be stronger than the power of money, that justice can prevail over injustice, that love can prevail over hate.

Will we let anybody turn us around?

What Do Workers Want To Hear About In The State Of The Union Address?

Workers Want To Know

Leading up to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, the AFL-CIO is releasing a unique, creative preview highlighting the issues America’s workers will be listening for. Through video and audio platforms, the AFL-CIO and workers in their own voices have clear messages for the President and are engaging the broader public.

WORKER VIDEO MESSAGE: http://youtu.be/jHAPREwu8tU

In this new video, workers talk about the issues they most want to hear the President address. In their own unscripted voices, these workers highlight issues including trade, immigration, collective bargaining, social security and more.

“I would like to be assured that Fast-Track will not be the means by which any trade agreement is reached,” says Marcos Velez, a member of USW 13-227. “Everyone has the right to collective bargaining,” AFSCME 1427 member Lisa James-Henson tells the President. “Wages, Mr. President, that is a big subject in my home,” she continues.

PRESIDENT TRUMKA AUDIO MESSAGE: https://soundcloud.com/afl-cio/sotu2015

AFL-CIO President Trumka delivers a clear message on what working people will be listening for. While highlighting many of the President’s success this past year, Trumka also underscores the challenges working people still face and the work needed to be done.

“President Obama has accomplished a lot this past year,” Trumka says. “But that’s not enough… After all, while President Obama is hard at work preparing his biggest speech of the year, most families are hard at work stretching their budgets to make ends meet…Working people want to hear not only what he thinks about raising wages, but what he’ll do about it. That is the ultimate standard of accountability.”

Kuster Reiterates Call for Manufacturing Innovation Institute in New Hampshire

Ann kuster head shot LG

In Advance of State of the Union, Calls for Swift Implementation of New Law 

Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) urged President Obama to expand the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and to extend this successful initiative to New Hampshire.  In a letter to the President in advance of next week’s State of the Union address, Kuster urged the swift implementation of a newly-enacted law to expand the Network, and reiterated the case for prioritizing the establishment of a manufacturing innovation institute in the Granite State.

“As a proud cosponsor of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, I urge you to swiftly implement this legislation,” said Kuster.  “Our state boasts a robust system of universities and community colleges, which have already formed successful partnerships with local employers to better prepare our students for advanced manufacturing jobs. I know your Administration would find many partners eager to help extend the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to New Hampshire, and I stand ready to work with you to that end.”

Jumpstarted in 2012 through the establishment of a pilot in Youngstown, Ohio, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation will consist of a series of institutes across the country dedicated to improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.  These manufacturing hubs will bring together employers, academics, and other stakeholders to collaborate on research and development, the commercialization of new innovations, and the training of a highly-skilled workforce.

During her first term in Congress, Congresswoman Kuster cosponsored the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, legislation to fund the continued development of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.  By partnering with Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress, Kuster and her colleagues successfully passed this legislation into law last month as part of the agreement to avoid a federal government shutdown.

Since first taking office in 2013, Congresswoman Kuster has continuously advocated for the establishment of a manufacturing innovation institute in New Hampshire.  Kuster included the creation of a Granite State manufacturing hub in her Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Agenda, her blueprint for strengthening our economy compiled from conversations with constituents across New Hampshire Second Congressional District.

The text of Congresswoman Kuster’s letter is below:

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

Thank you for your continued dedication to strengthening the American manufacturing sector.  In New Hampshire and nationwide, advanced manufacturers are adopting cutting-edge technology to bring new products to market and create high-quality jobs.  I look forward to continuing to work with your Administration and both parties in Congress to support this important field so that more families and small businesses can compete and succeed across America.

As you prepare to deliver next week’s State of the Union address, I urge you to use this opportunity to recommit your Administration to expanding the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.  As you know, Congress recently reaffirmed its bipartisan support for this initiative by passing the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act into law.  As a proud cosponsor of the RAMI Act, I urge you to swiftly implement this legislation, which authorizes funding for the continued development of a network of regional manufacturing institutes.  Working in tandem with the existing network of innovation hubs, these centers will bring together employers, educators, and other stakeholders to strengthen U.S. leadership in manufacturing research, increase American competitiveness, and accelerate the training of our workforce for 21st century careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In addition, as you continue this effort, I reiterate my request for you to prioritize the establishment of a manufacturing innovation hub in New Hampshire.  Home to world-class researchers and manufacturers, the Granite State is ideally qualified to host such an institute.  In addition, our state boasts a robust system of universities and community colleges, which have already formed successful partnerships with local employers to better prepare our students for advanced manufacturing jobs.  I know your Administration would find many partners eager to help extend the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to New Hampshire, and I stand ready to work with you to that end.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.


Ann McLane Kuster
Member of Congress

She Works Full Time For A Government Contractor, Earns Poverty Wages, And Then Became Homeless


Privatization leads the race to the bottom.

Report after report continues to show that workers and taxpayer lose when government jobs are contracted out to the lowest bidder.

Last year In The Public Interest released a biting report on the effects of privatizing public jobs.

“By slashing labor costs, a company may be able to show a city or state cost savings on paper,” the ITPI report states. “However, low wages often mean that the number of Americans on public assistance rolls increases and these supplemental income and healthcare costs, instead of being the contracting employer’s responsibility, are merely shifted onto other parts of the government budget.”

In the report IPTI highlighted First Transit a national contractor for local bus transportation services. First Transit makes their money by slashing wages and employee benefits.

“Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) outsources 47% of its fixed-route bus service to Veolia and First Transit. The general manager of the RTD admits that cost savings from the outsourced service is largely due to the cut in employee compensation. Starting pay for bus drivers employed by RTD is $15.49 per hour. The private contractors offer $12.25 in starting pay.”

“In 2009, the North County Transit District signed a contract with Ohio-based First Transit to take over maintenance and operations for its BREEZE bus line. In an effort to cut costs, the starting wage for a bus driver dropped from $14 to $10.50 an hour.”

“In Washington DC, public Metro workers can make $25 per hour with health and retirement benefits after 8 years of service. Workers for the DC Circulator, operated by First Transit, can make $14 per hour with fewer benefits. According to one worker who started his career as a bus operator with Metro almost 25 year ago, the starting salary is very difficult for a worker to live on in the Washington DC area, and impossible if that worker has a family to support.”

(In my home state of New Hampshire, First Transit is the contractor for the Manchester Transit Authority.)

Below is a very powerful video of a DC bus driver Karen Reed, who works for First Transit.  She talks about how her pay is so low that she cannot afford to pay her bills and feed her daughter.  Reed worked 12-13 hours a day for as many days a week as First Transit would allow and yet she still needed food stamps to keep her daughter from starving. Ultimately she spent three months homeless and still never missed a day of work.

Working full time, living on food stamps, and still ended up homeless. There is something severely wrong with this.

Watch this gut-wrenching video about how privatizing jobs pushes workers into poverty.

Republicans Vote To Block President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John BoehnerYesterday, the US House voted along party lines to block President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration and deferred deportations of those aspiring Americans currently residing in the US.

The House voted to fund the Department of Homeland Security with a couple of major caveat’s.  The Immigration Policy Center reported:

“The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the $39.7 billion funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, including five amendments that attacked parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

This is another misguided attempt by the House Republicans to connect deferred deportation with the massive influx of migrant children from South America.

Congressman Frank Guinta released the following statement that shows how the GOP does not understand how or why these children are coming to the United States and what deferring deportations would really do.  Congressman Guinta is also trying to push the idea that President Obama’s Executive Action is unconstitutional.

“Unfortunately, the President’s unlawful executive orders run counter to this.  I made a promise to Granite Staters to uphold our Constitution and work diligently to strengthen and reform our broken immigration system.  The passage of H.R. 240 is a common-sense first step in modernizing our system to reward those who enter our borders the lawfully while holding those whom break our laws accountable.”

The American Federation of Teachers President Rani Weingarten condemned the Republican move to defund President Obama’s immigration Executive Action.

“President Obama used his legal authority to sign an executive order last year because the Republican-controlled House failed to do its job by passing legislation on immigration reform. Rather than offer solutions that address our comprehensive immigration crisis, Republicans are waging war—in courts at the state level and in Congress—on families who want to live the American dream.

“Defunding DHS is not only irresponsible—because it jeopardizes our national security by leaving our borders more porous and undermanned—it’s bad policy. The president’s executive action will save lives, keep families together and expand our economy—a formula that will help reclaim the promise of the American dream.”

The House Republican’s have shown us all once again that they are not interesting in helping these aspiring Americans and are only interested in opposing President Obama.  This week the AFL-CIO released a new report that shows a direct connection between the failed “free trade agreements” with Central American countries is leading to the influx of unaccompanied minors last summer.

The real question is how will the Senate react to the ideologically misguided legislation passed by the House?  Initial reports say the Senate will pass a clean funding authorization and strip the controversial amendments.

AFL-CIO: “Free Trade” Agreement Led to Immigration Crisis

Honduran Workers (Image from AFLCIO)

Honduran Workers (Image from AFLCIO)

Report finds strong correlation between CAFTA, failed migration policies and increased militarization and recent displacement of women and children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America

 A new, eye-opening report issued by the AFL-CIO sheds light on how failed trade policies contributed to the unaccompanied minor crisis at the U.S. border during last summer. The report contains the findings of a delegation of U.S. labor and community leaders who, in October of 2014, traveled to Honduras.

The report titled “Trade, Violence and Migration: The Broken Promises to Honduran Workers” seeks to answer the “root causes” of the unaccompanied minor crisis, while offering various recommendations to the U.S. and Honduran governments. The authors identified egregious worker rights violations, widespread violence, lack of decent work opportunities, crushing poverty, and failure on the part of the government to protect the lives and rights of citizens in their home country as the main catalysts behind a migrant’s decision to come to the U.S.

For four days, members of the delegation met with local labor leaders, returned migrants and community leaders, who spoke on how the Central American Free Trade Agreement – Dominican Republic (CAFTA –DR) – has contributed to lowering their standards of living.  At the end of their visit, delegates came to the conclusion that the people of Central America will continue to flee their homes until they can live their lives with a sense of stability, all of which will require concerted policy changes in the United States and Honduras.

“What we witnessed was the intersection of our corporate-dominated trade policies with our broken immigration system contributing to a state that fails workers and their families and forces them to live in fear,” said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, who was part of the delegation. “The results are dangerous and serve as a warning of what we cannot allow to continue.”

The report features a series of recommendations for the U.S. and Honduran government on topics related to migration policy; the protection of human and labor rights; and, security and labor policy. Most importantly, the report recommends the following actions:

  1. The U.S. should insist that the Honduran government prosecute all cases of violence against human and worker rights activists including efforts to deny freedom of association as part of the ongoing enforcement of CAFTA labor obligations.
  2. The U.S. must provide immediate funding for the rehabilitation and nurturing support of refugees in the United States. In particular, resources and technical assistant should be dedicated for programs supporting girls and women victims of physical or sexual violence.
  3. Honduras should create a national campaign on minimum wage and overtime pay that promotes compliance with the laws and provides a mechanism such as a hot line for workers to report violations of these and other labor laws.

As of August 31, 2014, U.S. Border Patrol had encountered 17,975 unaccompanied Honduran minors – the largest of any Central American country.

To view the complete report, click here: http://go.aflcio.org/HondurasReport

After Gov. Hassan’s Inaugural Speech The NH GOP Spread False Talking Points About The Minimum Wage

from http://standupfl.org/event/national-raise-the-wage-day/

New Hampshire Republicans Double Down on Opposition to Strengthening Wages for Hard-Working Granite Staters

Republicans Use Debunked Claims About Effect of Minimum Wage on Job Creation;

Data Shows 2014 Job Creation Grew Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage

Concord, NH – Following Governor Hassan’s impassioned call for legislators to come together to finally restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage, Republican leaders doubled down on their opposition to strengthening wages for tens of thousands of hard-working Granite Staters.

A WMUR Granite State Poll found that 76% of Granite Staters support raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

“As Governor Hassan argued passionately in her Inaugural Address, it is long past time for members of both parties to come together to finally restore and increase our state’s minimum wage,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Instead of recycling debunked talking points, Republican leaders need to listen to the voices of the people of New Hampshire and finally join with Governor Hassan to strengthen wages and move our economy forward.”

In her Inaugural Address, Governor Hassan stressed the importance of expanding opportunity and strengthening wages for New Hampshire families. But just moments after the Governor’s address concluded, Senator Jeb Bradley was already recycling the same old debunked Republican talking points, calling the minimum wage “a job-killer.”

The problem with such claims is that they’ve repeatedly been shown to be untrue. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that job creation in 2014 was faster in the 13 states that had increased their minimum wage on January 1, 2014 compared with those that had not. Another study from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found “strong earnings effects and no employment effects of minimum wage increases.”

Even more mind-boggling was the argument from Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler, who told NHPR that New Hampshire should not increase the minimum wage because doing so “also raises the wage levels of everyone else up the line because if the minimum wage is raised, then other people are going to expect to get more money.”

“It’s ludicrous and just another sign of how completely backwards today’s New Hampshire Republican Party is that party leaders could argue that raising the minimum wage is a bad idea because it would help too many people,” added Buckley.

Weekly Communication Job Openings From UnionJobs

Union Jobs Logo 400x400


AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Senior Fellow, Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department  District of Columbia
Assistant Director, Information Technology Department District of Columbia
Data Coordinator – Wisconsin, Campaigns Department – Midwest Region, Wisconsin
Campaign Coordinator – Ohio, Campaigns Department Midwest Region  Ohio
Popular Education Coordinator, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia
Communications Coordinator, Communications Department (MW Region)  Michigan
Organizing Field Communications Assistant, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Development Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia

(Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment)
Worker Justice Campaign Coordinator, Bay Area or Sacramento  California

(Actors’ Equity Association)
National Director of Governance, New York City  New York

AFM (American Federation of Musicians)
Communications Director, New York  New York

(American Federation of Teachers)
Human/Civil Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights and Community Relations Department District of Columbia

(California Association of Psychiatric Technicians)
Senior Communications Specialist, Sacramento  California

(California Nurses Association (CNA) / National Nurses United (NNU) AFL-CIO)
Video Specialist, Oakland  California

(Center for Popular Democracy)
Fair Workweek Deputy Campaign Director, New York City preferred  New York

(Communications Workers of America)
Digital Media Technician  District of Columbia

(In the Public Interest)
Communications Coordinator/Writer  District of Columbia

(International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 3)
Associate Editor/Public Relations Specialist, Sacramento  California

(National Employment Law Project)
Campaign Coordinator (Home Care Fair Pay), New York (with an option of DC office)  New York

(National Nurses United)
Educator – Immediate Opening, San Francisco Bay area  California

(New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council)
Video Communications SupervisorNew York

(Orange County Employees Association)
Communications Organizer
, Santa Ana  California

(Professional Staff Congress, AFT Local 2334)
Union Newspaper Editor, New York  New York

(Partnership for Working Families)
Administrative & Executive Assistant, Oakland  California

(Raise the Floor Alliance)
Campaign Coordinator, Chicago  Illinois

(Local 1)
Communications Specialist, Detroit  Michigan

(Local 32BJ)
Member Communications Strategist, New York City  New York
Communications Specialist: Mid-Atlantic Region, Philadelphia based Pennsylvania

(Local 521)
Campaign Researcher, San Jose or Fresno  California
Temporary Campaign Researcher (term one year), San Jose  California

(Local 721)
Communications Specialist  California

(Local 1021)
IT Team – Database Specialist, Oakland  California

(United Domestic Workers of America)
Communications Coordinator, San Diego  California
Staff Writer, San Diego or Sacramento  California

(United Food and Commercial Workers International Union)
Senior Strategic Targeting Coordinator, Washington D.C.  District of Columbia

(United Federation of Teachers)
Social Media Coordinator, New York City  New York

(University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America)
Systemwide Director  California

Working Families
(Pennsylvania Working Families)
Pennsylvania Communications Director, Philadelphia  Pennsylvania


Please share the following listing with anyone you know who might be interested.

(Carleton University Academic Staff Association)
Member Services Officer (Grievance)   Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Note: Application deadline for this announcement is January 9, 2015 at 4:00 PM)

(Global Labour University at Penn State)
Master’s Program in Global Workers Rights, State College Pennsylvania (National search)

Progressive NH State Rep To Propose Minimum Wage Increase To $14.25 And Eliminating The “Tipped Minimum Wage”

Minimum Wage 101

Minimum Wage 101

Representative Jackie Cilley to introduce far-reaching minimum wage legislation

Fmr. State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate returns to Concord to pursue middle-class agenda

JackiePortrait(Barrington, NH) After a four-year absence from the New Hampshire General Court, newly-returned Barrington representative Jackie Cilley announced that her first piece of legislation – and her chief priority in the coming session – is to give New Hampshire’s struggling workers a raise with an increased minimum wage paired with the elimination of the so-called “tipped minimum wage.” This legislation would mark a return to a state-based minimum wage and move tipped workers into the economic mainstream with a raise from the current rate of $2.90.

Cilley, whose legislation would raise the minimum wage to $14.25 per hour over a three year-period and eventually tie the tipped minimum wage to the same figure, argues the move from both a matter of fairness and economic common sense.

“Most of use want to get paid what we are worth, what we contribute to the companies and organizations for whom we work,” notes Cilley.  “If the minimum wage had actually kept pace with worker productivity, it would be $21.72 today.  Instead, workers’ wages peaked decades ago because of partisan divide.”

“Conservatives and progressives should both want to see the creation of livable wages.  Set aside for a moment the argument of fairness to workers and just consider what each of us is paying to help an employer keep a worker at sub-livable wages.  These workers can’t actually live on those wages. They often need such support services as food stamps, fuel assistance, housing assistance and so on.   If the minimum wage were raised to just $10.10 per hour that would mean 1.7 million people across this country would no longer need public assistance, saving us $7.6 billion.  I don’t yet have the exact figures for this for New Hampshire, but simply pro-rating it per capita suggests a savings of more than $30 million.”

“This is long overdue: They were one vote away from making a substantial start in the last session and I want to keep that momentum moving, regardless of the partisan makeup of the new legislature,” Cilley said. “This doesn’t have to be a partisan issue – Mitt Romney supports an increased minimum wage, for example – but we have to make the case on economic, not just fairness grounds.”

“Bill O’Brien’s decision to put what New Hampshire businesses pay their workers in the hands of bureaucrats in Washington, DC was terrible choice. We need to have a minimum wage that reflects the economy and values of New Hampshire, not DC – This legislation puts the decision back where it belongs, in New Hampshire.”

Legislation pushed by then-Speaker Bill O’Brien repealed the state’s minimum wage law in 2011 and handed jurisdiction to the federal government. Gov. Lynch vetoed the legislation, but O’Brien’s allies in the House overrode the veto. The National Employment Law Project’s Christine Owens said at the time that “given the fact that minimum wage workers spend every penny they earn in their local businesses, a strong wage floor is also vital to stimulating the consumer spending necessary for real and lasting economic recovery.”

These economic facts of life haven’t changed. A study released in March of 2014 by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute echoes Owens words.

“Most notably, raising the minimum wage will increase demand for the goods and services sold by businesses operating in the Granite State. Low-wage workers, out of necessity, typically spend every dollar that they earn. As a result, the increased wages they will earn from a higher minimum wage will almost certainly be spent – and most likely be spent quickly – in the communities in which they live and work.”

About Jackie Cilley: Born in Berlin, New Hampshire, Jackie Cilley was raised with four siblings in a third-floor walk-up tenement before graduating from Berlin High School. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNH and has served as an adjunct professor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics since matriculating from there in 1985. In 2004 she ran for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and won, serving one term in the House before being elected twice to the  New Hampshire Senate, representing the 6th District from 2006 – 2010. In 2012, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor, losing to Gov. Hassan. She was re-elected to the New Hampshire House in 2014 where she serves on the Committee on Executive Departments and Administration. Rep. Cilley was recently named by veteran NH political reporter John DiStaso as one of the “‘Most wanted’ NH Democrats for the 2016 presidential campaign.”

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