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In addition to the mushrooming movement of fast food workers that is generating protests and strikes around the state today, the good folks at Fair Share will be calling on Congresswoman Renee Ellmers today with a petition calling for immigration reform. This is from the announcement:

“Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform for a fair economy will deliver more than 1,000 petition signatures to U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers Thursday, demanding that the congresswoman call for an up-or-down House vote. The action comes as proponents of immigration reform highlight the issue in North Carolina and across the country as members of Congress prepare to head back to Washington, D.C. in less than two weeks.

‘When we bring 11.5 million aspiring Americans out of the shadows and allow them to join the legal, regulated workforce, Read More

Well, another Moral Monday is upon us, click here for information about the wheres and whens for today’s events in Charlotte, Burnsville and Manteo.

And speaking of Moral Monday, check out this editorial from Saturday’s Charlotte Observer about some of the cold, hard facts being lifted up by the MM protests.

And speaking of excellent editorial page content from over the weekend, check out this piece that ran in the Fayetteville Observer by former city council member and veteran activist Denny Shaffer, in which he explains the ultimate objectives of the state’s right-wing political movement.

And speaking of the disastrous impact of right-wing policies, check out this post by blogger extraordinaire Steve Benen about the slow motion wreck that is taking place across the nation as a result of the cuts inflicted by the absurd “sequestration” path forced by Congress.

And speaking of disastrous, slow motion cuts, activists will be rallying in Raleigh tomorrow to combat the ongoing demise of the minimum wage and the rights of fast food industry workers. The event will take place at 3:30 pm at Martin Street Baptist Church. RSVP by calling 919-604-8167 or emailing itsaredletterday@gmail.com.

And finally, speaking of people with whom such protests would have resonated, check out this tribute to the late Catholic Bishop Joe Gossman of Raleigh by George Reed of the Council of Churches. Oh, how the North Carolina Catholic community could benefit from someone of Gossman’s courage and progressive views today.

Earline ParmonSenator Earline Parmon has resorted to a relatively unusual tactic in an effort to unearth a piece of common sense legislation that has been buried in the Senate Rules Committee for the past two months. The Winston-Salem Democrat gave notice last Thursday that she is circulating a discharge petition on Senate Bill 220 – a measure she is sponsoring along with her colleagues, Senators Angela Bryant and Don Davis to index the state minimum wage to the inflation rate.

Though Senate leaders have thus far refused to allow the bill to be heard, Parmon’s proposal is actually a fairly modest suggestion that has historically enjoyed bipartisan support. Currently, ten states – including the conservative bastions Florida and Arizona – already index their hourly minimum wage to keep up with inflation. Polls also indicate strong support across the political spectrum for such a proposal.

And make no mistake, such a change is clearly necessary. Over the last 40 years, Read More

In anticipation of Big Business Day, er uh,  Labor Day, the good people at the National Employment Law Project are out with a new report that shines some welcome light on a much undereported subject in modern America: the huge and growing profits of low wage employers.

This is from the release that acccompanied the report:

“America’s low-wage economy is marked by two extremes.  On the one hand, workers earning at or near the minimum wage are seeing the real value of their paychecks diminish steadily over time, as the cost of living increases while their wages remain stagnant.  After nearly half a century of neglect, today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is decades out of date.  In terms of purchasing power, its value is 30 percent lower today than it was in 1968.

On the other hand, many corporations are posting record-breaking profits. Read More

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If we updated FDR’s statement at left it might go like this:

“Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $40,000 a day,…tell you…that a wage of $392 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.”

And a new study released today by the Economic Policy Institute provides lots of hard numbers that demonstrate just how beneficial a hike in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 would be (both to average families and the economy as a whole).

Key findings include:

-Increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, would raise the wages of about 28 million workers, who would receive nearly $40 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period. Read More