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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Public Hearing on Economic Inequality Set for Thursday December 10th, 7pm

Somerville's Board of Aldermen have scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 10 at 7:00 PM on the problem of growing economic inequality and the merits of passing new legislation at the state level to help address it.

At the hearing, the Board of Aldermen (and other invited elected officials) will be asked to support passage of the following bills currently being considered by the state legislature:
       Paid family and medical leave to ensure workers are not forced to choose between work and the well-being of their children and other family members.
       A Constitutional Amendment creating an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars for new investment in quality public schools, affordable higher education, and improvements in public transportation.
       A living wage for employees of big box retail and fast food companies so that people who work full-time for large, profitable corporations can earn a living wage of $15 an hour.
       Elimination of the subminimum wage for tipped workers, providing restaurant workers with the same hourly minimum wage as workers in all other industries in Massachusetts.

The public is invited to attend and be heard!  The hearing will be in the Aldermanic Chamber, 2nd floor at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. on Dec. 10 at 7:00 PM

Good Jobs Somerville gathered over 200 signatures from residents calling for the Board of Aldermen to hold the hearing. 

"Our main objective is simple: we want the City of Somerville to formally recognize that economic inequality is a growing problem and to support a number of state initiatives that address some of the causes of inequality: low wages, underfunded education and transportation, and the need for paid family leave," said Jesse Clingan, a Good Jobs activist from Ward 4 who helped lead the signature drive.

In addition to Good Jobs Somerville, the public hearing is supported by: Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health, Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Restaurant Opportunities Center, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Municipal Employees Association, SEIU Local 32BJ, SEIU Local 888, Tufts Labor Coalition, UFCW Local 1445, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 6, Welcome Project. 

Good Jobs Somerville is a group of local labor and community activists working together for the good jobs our community needs. For more info, please contact: Rand Wilson at (617) 949-9720, or email:


Anonymous said...

Re: the 3rd item down.

$15.00/hour for "FULL TIME" EMPLOYEES! ?????

What will result: the entity involved will define, in terms of weekly hours worked, what comprises a full time employee. Any employeee working less than that will be relegated to a part-time employee at a lesser hourly rate.

However. a need for (some) full-time workers in most of the impacted establishments does exist.

Unless I am corrected and advised that a civic state authority defines how many hours worked define a full time worker.

I'm all for the $15.00/hour; but expect the retail prices will be increased. So, in effect, the customers will be paying increased prices of goods for the entity to maintain their per-cent Gross-Profit-Margin!

Fixed and variable expenses for the owners (which also tend to become more expensive) come out of the GPM...leaving a desired NET-PROFIT for them (hopefully) in the black.

In the world of retail economics and elsewhere, any one increased $$$$$ adjustment will create increased cost ripple effect down the line. Invariably it's the consumers who end up "paying the bill."

Anonymous said...

In other words,the outright owners and/or the franchise holder, will be in a position to schedule their employees hours as part timers in such a manner that precludes having to pay them the full time rate; and still not sacrifice customer service.

POINT: The suggested/if adopted enhanced hourly rate should apply to all the hourly rate employees; not just the full timers.

I mean, aren't they all basically doing the same tasks, side by side, same shift???

Reminds me of the historic different lower wages paid to women over the years as opposed to paying men more for doing the same job. (granted, that discriminatory wage issue is slowly getting fixed; but still exists.)

As a man submitting the above, I have no dog in the race; but have seen female friends and relatives impacted via the lower wages for women.