WUOMFM

minimum wage

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

pixabay

A question to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 an hour could be headed to the November ballot. A petition drive says it’s gathered enough signatures to force the Legislature to adopt the initiative, or it goes to voters.

Michigan’s minimum wage rose to $9.25 an hour in January.

Campaign chair Alicia Farris says the initiative will not only increase the minimum wage again, it will also end the lower minimum wage for workers who earn tips.

Dollar bills and pennies
Jeffrey Smith / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


Michigan’s minimum wage is set to rise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.90 to $9.25. The rate is slightly lower for some trainees and teen workers. Restaurant and other workers who rely on tips will also not be making the new minimum wage.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Voters might have the chance to decide a pair of workers’ rights questions next year.

A petition campaign to require businesses to offer employees paid sick and family leave has launched its signature-gathering drive. On the same day, a state elections board approved the form of a campaign to increase the state minimum wage to $12 an hour, which plans to start gathering names next month.

The minimum wage campaign would also require employers pay the $12 an hour even to workers who count tips as part of their earnings.

lily tomlin and jane fonda
Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED Conference / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Actresses Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda partnered are in Michigan with restaurant worker advocacy groups to promote a ballot initiative raising the minimum wage in Michigan.

Advocates are raising money and collecting signatures to get the measure, which would raise the state's minimum wage gradually to $12 an hour by 2022, on the 2018 ballot. 

The head of Ontario's Liberal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne, wants to change labor laws to help part-time and contract Ontario workers make more money.
Jason Hargrove / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Ontario’s top government official introduced a plan Tuesday to increase the minimum wage and rework labor laws in the province to help support vulnerable workers.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan calls to increase Ontario’s minimum wage from its current level at $8.47 USD, to $10.40 USD per hour by 2018. Under Wynne’s proposal, the minimum wage would increase again to $11.14 USD in 2019, and continue to increase to keep pace with inflation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan live in poverty, and new research suggests that number would be lower if some workers weren't being cheated out of pay they have earned.

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

"Making Ends Meet" is a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy that reveals the average cost of living throughout Michigan.

In its seventh annual report, the policy organization analyzed housing data, child care costs, food expenses, health care costs, and other necessities to calculate a “basic needs income level.”

Detroit 15 protestors at Hardee's in Hazel Park, Michigan.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A group of fast food workers in southeast Michigan don't want Andy Puzder to become Labor Secretary.

The crowd of about 50 protestors gathered outside of a Hardee's in Hazel Park today chanting and shouting for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The minimum wage is currently $8.90 an hour in Michigan.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr. He was nominated by president-elect Donald Trump to become the country's next Labor Secretary.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s minimum wage workforce gets a pay raise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage is increasing to $8.90 on Sunday, that’s up from the current $8.50 per hour.   

Wendy Block is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.   She says many hourly workers were already making at least that much.

“The economy has obviously helped tremendously in terms of that upward pressure on wages and really helped employees to be able to earn a higher minimum wage, or a higher wage than they would than what is mandated under state law,” says Block.

Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michigan farms during the harvest.
Craig Camp / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says the state is wrong to eliminate minimum wage protection for workers on some small farms. 

According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' Wage and Hour Division, small farms with fewer than 500 man-days in any quarter of the previous year are exempt from paying the minimum wage.  A "man-day" means any day during which an employee works at least one hour. 

39 arrested at Detroit minimum wage protest

Nov 29, 2016
Demonstrators block traffic in Detroit early Tuesday morning.
D15 / McConnell Communications Inc

Detroit police arrested 39 people this morning during a protest outside a McDonald's on Grand River Avenue. 

The protest was part of a national campaign of planned strikes and civil disobedience to fight for a $15 hourly wage and the right to unionize.

According to Commander Elvin Barren of the Detroit Police Department, the protest was peaceful, and about 350 people participated. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, some Michigan fast food workers and others are expected to walk out of their minimum wage jobs.

Strikes are planned in Detroit and other Michigan cities, as well as around the country.

Pastor W.J. Rideout is one of the organizers of the D15 campaign pushing for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“You will see us all over,” says Rideout, “and it’s going to have a great big large impact. It’s going to blow the minds of people.”

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Thousands of workers from across the country, including some from Michigan, converge on Richmond, Virginia, this weekend to ramp up the fight for better wages and call attention to what poverty is doing to people of color. It's the first-ever nationwide "Fight for Fifteen" convention, today and Saturday.

Henrietta Ivey works two minimum wage jobs and has a hard times making ends meet.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Detroit home care worker stood in the spotlight at tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

Henrietta Ivey works two minimum wage jobs. She brought her campaign to raise the minimum wage to the main stage at the DNC.

“For me and all home care workers all across America, and my family, this is personal,” says Ivey, “In Michigan, we are ‘fighting for 15.’  A $15 minimum wage and a union … because no working American family should have to be forced to live in poverty.”

Democrats put raising the minimum wage to $15-an-hour in their party platform.

Agricultural groups in Michigan say they can't rely on the support of domestic markets alone, and want President Trump to preserve free trade.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In 1964, when legislators in Michigan created a state minimum wage, the idea was to create a system where no worker would be paid less than minimum wage.

But in a departure from previous practice, the state agency that enforces the law ruled in a pay dispute case that agricultural workers are not protected under the minimum wage law.

Kate Wells

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez spent an hour in Detroit today speaking with a small group of fast-food servers, home health care workers, gas station clerks and other minimum-wage earners. 

The workers are with "Detroit 15" – a local group that's part of the national push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Sitting next to Mayor Mike Duggan, Perez praised the workers, repeatedly comparing their cause to the civil rights movement. 

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week in Michigan Politics, political analyst Jack Lessenberry talks about a new law affecting Michigan workers, a plan to fix the roads that increases the gas tax, the high cost of information, and government officials looking at the effects of the same sex marriage ruling.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Photo courtesy of Governor Snyder's office

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill that stops local governments from adopting their own ordinances that cover wages and working conditions.

The new law does not affect existing ordinances, but it does preempt nascent efforts to adopt local “living wage” and mandatory sick leave ordinances. In a written statement, Governor Snyder says it makes sense to ensure consistency in local ordinances that regulate jobs and employment.

Senate bill would lower minimum wage for young adults

Jun 18, 2015
Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A bill is being considered by the Michigan Senate that would lower the minimum wage for young adults.

Senate Bill 250 would allow people under 20 to be paid 85% of the state minimum wage or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.

Current laws allow employers to pay workers under 18 a lower minimum wage.

Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

State lawmakers have sent Gov. Rick Snyder a bill that would ban local minimum wage and benefit laws. The bill does not apply to ordinances adopted before this year.

Republican supporters of the legislation say having a patchwork of different wage laws across the state makes Michigan less attractive to businesses.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the bill. They say it's an attack on local control.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Local minimum wage and benefit ordinances in place before this year would no longer be preempted by a controversial bill in the state Legislature.

The state House changed House Bill 4052 so that it would only apply to local ordinances adopted after January 1, 2015. It would still stop communities from passing new laws setting local minimum wages and benefits.

Apartment building in Detroit
Joseph Wingenfeld / Flickr

To afford an average two-bedroom apartment in Michigan, you would need to make $15.16 an hour, according to a recent study done by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

The hourly housing wage was derived under a few assumptions, the most significant being that the cost of rent and utilities shouldn't exceed 30% of a person's total income. 

Daniel Lobo / Creative Commons

Nearly 100 workers at seven Michigan hotels will share $50,000 in back pay. The consent judgment was announced today.

Housekeepers and maintenance workers at the hotels in Grand Rapids and Monroe were paid less than minimum wage in some cases, didn’t get overtime pay, or were not paid fully for work they did before and after their shifts ended.

Study: Michigan minority families falling behind

Mar 18, 2015
pile of one  dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study shows minority working families in Michigan are twice as likely to be low-income earners as white working families.

The report shows half of the state's working minority families fall below the official poverty rate, around $40,000 for a family of three, compared to 27% of working white families.

via gophouse.org

A new House bill would prevent local governments from setting their own minimum wage laws, putting other additional conditions on employers, or attaching community benefits agreements to development projects.

State Representative Earl Poleski, a Jackson Republican, is the bill’s sponsor. He says it aims to combat the “fragmentation” that results from letting municipalities set their own standards.  

“Those different rules make it complex—and when I say complex, read ‘expensive’—to comply, and frankly impairs businesses abilities to expand and hire people,” Poleski says.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Black Friday is attracting shoppers and protesters.

Picketers stood outside more than a dozen Michigan Wal-Mart stores this morning.

Marilyn Coulter is with the Coalition of Labor Union Women.    She says this is “RED Friday” for minimum wage workers in Michigan.

“Because they’re in the red because they’re working and they are not getting paid enough money to be able to live and feed their families,” says Coulter. 

Michigan had the lowest turnout in a Governor’s race this year since the John Engler-Geoffrey Fieger face-off of 1998. And, while a lot of Republicans sat out this year, it was mostly Democrats who stayed home in droves on Election Day.

So, despite the low turnout, conservatives can rejoice because Republicans will remain in control in Lansing for at least the next two years. But progressives can, perhaps, find some solace in the fact that getting initiatives and challenges on the ballot will be easier than it has been in 16 years.

(Shout-out to the Lansing political consulting firm Sterling Corporation and its attorney Bob LaBrandt for being the first to point this out.)

Proposals are by and large put on the ballot by petition drives. (The Legislature can also put questions on the ballot.)

The number of signatures required to get a petition on the ballot is based on the number of people who voted in the previous election for governor. So, fewer voters in 2014 means fewer signatures needed to get on the ballot in 2016.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People swinging through fast-food drive-thrus on their way to work this morning in Lansing and Detroit had to pass by groups of picketers.

“What do we want … 15… When do we want it …NOW,” chanted a small group of protesters who walked and waved signs in front of the McDonald's on Martin Luther King Boulevard in south Lansing.  

The union-backed protest wants fast-food outlets to increase pay to $15 an hour.

Pages