Author Archives: Joe Doc

Union: Up to 40K walking off the job at AT&T this weekend

From The Associated Press

– The Communications Workers of America union says that up to 40,000 AT&T workers have started walking off the job over contract fights with the phone company. They’ll return to work Monday.

 That includes 21,000 workers on the wireless side of the company, which the union says raises the prospect that some cellphone stores could be closed this weekend in Washington, D.C., or one of the 36 states affected. Wireless workers want wage increases that cover higher health care costs, better scheduling and promises from the company to not cut jobs.

Some 17,000 other potential protesters come from AT&T’s home phone, internet and cable division in California, Nevada and Connecticut. Another 2,000 are DirecTV workers in California and Nevada.

Dallas-based AT&T says it has a contingency workforce” ready in preparation for the walkouts.

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41 million people deserve a raise – The Fight For $15

By David Cooper

– In the eight years since the federal minimum wage was last raised, the buying power of a minimum-wage paycheck has fallen 10 percent due to inflation — and this erosion is not even half of the decline in the value that has taken place since the late 1960s.

Despite a much richer economy and a more educated, more productive workforce, minimum-wage workers today are paid roughly 25 percent less per hour than their counterparts almost 50 years ago.

In a recent paper, I examined the effect of the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, a bill that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, the equivalent of $12.50 in today’s dollars.

The proposal would directly lift the wages of 22.5 million workers. On average, these low-wage workers would receive a $3.10 increase in their hourly wage, in today’s dollars. For a directly affected worker who works all year, this equals a $5,100 increase in annual wage income, a raise of 31.3 percent. Meanwhile, an additional 19 million workers earning more than $15 would also see their wages increase from a spillover effect as employers adjusted their pay scales to the increase. A total of 41.5 million workers would benefit from this proposal, which is almost 30 percent of the workforce.

Contrary to common misperceptions about low-wage workers, the people who would benefit from such an increase are not just teenagers working in part-time jobs. Ninety percent of workers who would get a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $15 in 2024 are age 20 or older. The average worker who would be affected is 36 years old, and 70 percent are at least 25 years old. The majority of workers work full time, and more than a quarter have children.

Workers of color and women would disproportionately benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, as 40 percent of black workers and one-third of Hispanic workers would receive an increase in pay. A majority of the workers who would be affected are women (55.6 percent). More than 19 million children — nearly a quarter of all children in the United States — would benefit from an increase in their parents’ pay.

Targeting a national $15 per hour minimum wage by 2024 is a bold proposal, but policymakers must be bold — otherwise they will never overcome the many decades when the minimum wage rose modestly or not at all, and a minimum wage job will never provide workers with a decent income.

If we raised it to $15 by 2024, for the first time ever, the minimum wage would no longer be a poverty wage and tens of millions of workers — mostly adults who on average provide more than 60 percent of their family’s income — would have more money to support themselves and spend in their local communities.

David Cooper is a senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. He wrote this for

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5/6 – Saturday Night Live w/PhillyLabor at 7PM Tonight on TALK RADIO 1210AM WPHT

– Featuring John J. Dougherty, Joe Doc Jr and Joe Krause w/Guest Host Pat Gillespie and Tonight’s Guests are Congressman Bob Brady, Congressman Brendan Boyle, Councilman Bill Greenlee and Atty Sam Pond

Produced by Jakib Media, PR by Keel Communications, Sponsored By Weinerman Pain and Wellness

Listen online at:

DA candidate John O’Neill gets big labor endorsement

By Claudia Vargas

In accepting the endorsement of eight building trades unions Wednesday night, John O’Neill, a Democratic candidate for district attorney, vowed to help the unions by creating a labor liaison position in the District Attorney’s Office.

“A district attorney’s office that supports labor, that works with labor, is a district attorney that works with and for Philadelphia,” O’Neill said to more than 200 workers at the Plumbers Union Local 690 Hall in Northeast Philadelphia. “As your district attorney, as one of my first acts in the first 30 days, I will appoint a deputy of labor liaison.”

Applause broke out among the crowd, which included members of the Sprinkler Fitters,  Ironworkers, and Communication Workers unions. O’Neill said the position would exist “so that every one of you will have direct and constant communication with a person who understands what you need and who sticks up for you.”

O’Neill, 35, worked for 10 years as an assistant district attorney before deciding to run for the top post. He was one of the last of the seven Democratic candidates to throw his hat in the ring. He also came second to last in the first round of fund-raising.

Wednesday night’s endorsement was significant, because he will now have an army of union workers raising money on his behalf and sending campaign literature to voters endorsing him. But whether that will give him a lead in a race without an incumbent or the local Democratic Party making an endorsement remains to be seen.

Other candidates have received big endorsements, including former Managing Director Rich Negrin, who was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and  civil-rights lawyer Larry Krasner, endorsed by the local health-care workers’ union. Krasner is also receiving outside help from a political action committee backed by billionaire George Soros.

Nevertheless, O’Neill said he felt confident Wednesday night.

“This means everything,” O’Neill said after the rally. “To have this level of support … is humbling, inspiring. I can’t even put it into words.”

Asked if the endorsement and his decision to implement a labor liaison position were signs that O’Neill is already too close with the unions, he said that was not true, noting that unions provide training and jobs to many Philadelphians.

“Good-paying jobs need someone supporting them. When you have a situation, for example, where someone illegally classifies a job the wrong way so that they can rip off their workers or so that they can avoid paying things the law requires them to pay, it only makes sense to have a DA’s Office that supports the law,” he said.

Wayne Miller, president of the Philadelphia Building Trades Council and head of Sprinkler Fitters Local 696, said his union and others that endorsed O’Neill liked his confidence and 10 years’ experience as a prosecutor. He said he planned a full campaign effort.

“Nobody puts people on the street like we do,” Miller said.  “You’re not going to get elected unless you have the building trades behind you.”

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