November 2012

Poll: Americans Voted For Better Jobs – Not Tax Breaks For The Rich

The 2012 presidential election is over, and the American people voted for strengthening the middle class and good jobs. Voters rejected the idea of cutting healthcare and education to continue tax breaks for the richest Americans.

A recent public poll released by The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA) found that the American people oppose crippling cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, education, and public safety.  Americans voted in favor of putting people back to work and job creation – not for job-killing budget cuts and tax breaks for the rich. Read the full report here.

Here is what the American People had to say:

  • Twice as many Americans would rather see Congress and the President focus on job creation (67%) than on reducing the deficit (29%).
  • 53% of Americans want to see the wealthy to pay their fair share so we can invest in job creation.
  • Only 16% of voters support some type of bargain that combines increasing taxes on high-income earners with cuts to Medicare, Social Security and education.

American voters reject cuts to Medicare, Social Security or education in order to reduce the deficit.

  • Large majorities of Americans believe that deficit reduction can be achieved without cutting Social Security (86%), Medicare (78%), education (84%), or funding for local police and firefighters (83%).
  • 89% oppose cuts in nursing him aid for elderly covered by Medicaid.
  • 87% oppose cuts to Social Security benefits.
  • 83% oppose cuts to health insurance for kids covered by Medicaid cuts.
  • 82% of voters oppose cuts to federal funding for K-12 education.
  • 75% of oppose cutting federal funding for college financial aid and student loans.
  • 62% oppose ending emergency unemployment benefits.

The strongest arguments against cuts appeal to job creation and protecting the middle class as a way to reduce the deficit and strengthen the economy.

  • 73% found the argument that “the best way to reduce the deficit is to put people back to work and make the economy strong again” very convincing.

Our elected officials from both parties need to listen to the will of the voters and focus on rebuilding the middle class and strengthening our economy by investing in jobs, not cuts. Americans have said loud and clear that they will forcefully oppose any budget deal that puts working families and the economic recovery in jeopardy.

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Fight for Philly Joins Philadelphia Airport Workers To Call For Good Jobs

On Saturday,faith leaders, community activists, labor organizations, and Fight for Philly gathered at the Grace Christian Fellowship Church for the Good Jobs for Philly Neighborhoods community action forum, presented by the new Airport Economic Justice Coalition. The coalition, consisting of Fight for Philly, SEIU local 32BJ, Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER), and UNITE HERE, was presenting Fight for Philly’s recent report on subcontracted airport workers. The paper highlights the impact on workers and taxpayers of applying the 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard and providing access to decent, affordable health care to airline subcontracted employees at the airport. This forum was a chance for airport workers and activists to speak out against low wages and for the importance of good jobs.

Close to 200 supporters came to listen to stories of the economic plight of workers at the Philadelphia Airport and recommendations on how to alleviate problems like lack of healthcare and sub-par wages. Workers and faith leaders took the stage and spoke passionately about the importance of good jobs and what it would mean to the people and the city. Reverend Ernest Flores kicked off the forum with a faith reflection stressing the importance of livable wages, illustrating through passages from the Bible. He said “The Bible says it is more important to be good than rich…the Bible tells employers to be good!” “Poor folks need a day’s wage! Poor folks need health care!”

Revered Flores was followed by POWER Executive Director Bishop Dwayne Royster, who told listeners, “Over a quarter of people in Philly live in poverty, and many of them work every day.” He then asked the crowd to join him in repeating a few important words: “Put Philadelphia to work, and our city will work!”

Philadelphia International Airport skycap Brahim Alexander (pictured) took the stage next and told the crowd, “Like so many people today, my co-workers and I are struggling to make ends meet, despite being honest, hardworking people.  We take our jobs seriously, helping people and being a part of the airport community.  But in order to support our families, we need more opportunity at work to earn more and have access to life-saving benefits so that we aren’t trapped living paycheck to paycheck forever.” He concluded his speech by asking his “brothers and sisters at the airport” to join him in organizing a union to make their lives better.

The forum came to a close with members from coalition groups coming together in prayer for good jobs, peace, and justice.

Check out some pictures from the forum. The rest can be seen here: Fight for Philly: Airport Worker’s Forum

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For Immediate Release: Coalition Of Community Groups Joins Philadelphia Airport Workers At Forum To Call For Good Jobs

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Contact: Jesse Kudler

(617) 974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org                    

 

Coalition Of Community Groups Joins Philadelphia Airport Workers At Forum To Call For Good Jobs

Philadelphia, PA—Today at a community forum in South West Philadelphia, Fight for Philly joined a call to turn passenger services jobs at the Philadelphia International Airport into good jobs by enhancing pay and benefits such as health care and sick pay.  A remarkable coalition of grassroots community groups and labor organizations—called the Philadelphia Airport Economic Justice Coalition—was joined by airport workers at the Forum on Good Jobs at the Grace Christian Fellowship. Other participants in the forum included Fight for Philly, which seeks to empower Philadelphia families to take action in their own communities, the clergy group Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER), UNITE HERE and SEIU 32BJ.

Rev. Zach Ritvalsky of Sweet Union Baptist says Philadelphia is the poorest major city in the country.  “We own the Airport,” he said. “And we could easily have one of the biggest anti-poverty initiatives the city has seen in decades. We intend to push our city leaders to embrace this vision and put it into policy.”

Many passenger service workers at the Philadelphia International Airport do not reap the benefits of working at the region’s economic powerhouse despite performing vital services that make the airport run, according to findings in a new report by the grassroots group Fight for Philly.

Earlier in the week, Fight for Philly released “Raising the Bar: Ensuring That Airport Expansion Lifts All of Philadelphia,” a report about the economic plight of workers at Philadelphia Airport and recommendations on how to alleviate some of the problems identified in the report. The report offers prescriptions for the economic health of the city and region that include raising wages and benefits for these low-income airport workers.

Philadelphia International Airport, a major economic engine for the city and region, supports over 141,000 jobs in the Philadelphia region and brings more than $14 billion in economic activity to the area, according to “Raising the Bar.” But, to cut costs, airlines at the airport long ago outsourced passenger service jobs to low-bid contractors.

As powerful interests in Washington, D.C., debate the so-called fiscal cliff that the nation’s economy is on while resisting making the rich pay their fair share of taxes, airport workers who provide these vital services to airlines—cleaning terminals and aircraft, pushing wheelchairs, handling baggage, and performing security services to keep passengers safe—make as little as $7.25 an hour with no access to affordable health benefits, including sick days.

The result is that workers earn so little they are unable to provide for their families and some even have to resort taxpayer-funded public assistance for rent, health care and food.

Frank Drum, 38, a Wheelchair Assistant for PrimeFlight for seven years, said it is hard to get by making $6.25 an hour as a tipped employee because the tips he gets helping elderly and disabled passengers get around the airport is not enough to pay his bills.  “My bills keep going up, but we don’t get any raises,” he said. “They cut my hours, and it seems like they want more for less. I work hard and better pay and benefits would make my life better, but right now it feels like things are just getting worse.

But Erica Cody, a security officer for McGinn Security at Philadelphia University, said the problems identified in the report are more widespread than the airport. “This problem of companies paying poverty wages is bigger than the airport; it’s happening all over the city,” Cody said.  “I work hard but I can barely make ends meet.”

###

 

Fight for Philly is building a grassroots coalition of residents, community groups, neighborhood associations, faith organizations and labor groups united in the fight for good jobs, corporate accountability and strong communities.

 

info@fightforphilly.org * (215) 232-3792 * http://fightforphilly.org

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COMMUNITY GROUPS AND PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT WORKERS TO HOLD FORUM ON GOOD AIRPORT JOBS

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release

Friday, November 16, 2012

Contact: Jesse Kudler

(617) 974-3684jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

COMMUNITY GROUPS AND PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT WORKERS TO HOLD FORUM ON GOOD AIRPORT JOBS

 

Philadelphia, PA—The Philadelphia International Airport, a major economic engine for the city and region, supports over 141,000 jobs in the Philadelphia region and brings more than $14 billion in economic activity to the area. Yet, many of the workers who make the airport run do not reap the benefits that this economic powerhouse brings.

To cut costs, the airlines outsourced passenger service jobs to low bid contractors, leaving workers who provide these vital services to airlines and passengers making as little as $7.25 an hour, without access to affordable health benefits or sick days. The result is that workers who clean terminals and aircraft, push wheelchairs, handle bags, and perform security services to keep passengers safe find themselves unable to provide for their families.

WHO:            Fight for Philly, SEIU 32BJ,Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower &

Rebuild (POWER) and UNITE HERE.

WHAT:          Airport workers at a community forum for good jobs.

WHEN:         Saturday, November 17th at 3:00 PM

WHERE:      Grace Christian Fellowship,6208 Grays Avenue, Philadelphia (between 62nd and 63rd)

                        Walking distance from the 11 and 36 trolleys and the G bus.

 

# # # 

 

Fight for Philly is building a grassroots coalition of residents, community groups, neighborhood associations, faith organizations and labor groups united in the fight for good jobs, corporate accountability and strong communities.

info@fightforphilly.org * (215) 232-3792 *http://fightforphilly.org

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Fight for Philly Demands Jobs, Not Cuts in Harrisburg

On November 6th, Fight for Philly and community activists turned out in full force and helped President Obama achieve a second term!

We couldn’t be prouder of our city’s overwhelming response to re-electing President Obama, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of volunteers and staff. We all deserve credit for shaping the outcome of this historic election.

All told, Fight for Philly knocked on 20,925 doors and made contact with 7,719 Democratic voters in Pennsylvania.

Before the dust had even settled from the election, Fight for Philly traveled to Harrisburg for a “Jobs, Not Cuts” rally  to keep a watchful eye on our newly elected officials. The rally was part of a national day of action, with groups around the country reminding officials that they were elected to stand up for working people . Community activists and union members spoke to a crowd in front of Senator Casey’s office and demanded he not turn a blind eye to the people that got him elected.  “We helped get these officials re-elected…we had their backs and now it’s time they have ours! Trust me; we will not be asleep for these next four years. We will have our eyes on you!”  Said Marvin Robinson, a West Philadelphia Community Activist.

The crowd then turned their sights to Governor Corbett and marched from Senator Casey’s headquarters to Governor Corbett’s office in the Capitol Building. The Governor’s cuts to public services and benefits have left a bad taste in the mouths of many people in PA.  Protestors hand delivered signs like “Jobs, Not Cuts” and “We are watching you!” to his office.

We cannot allow Congress to hamstring our economy, cut access to vital services for those who need it most, and raise taxes on middle and working-class families. Congress needs to heed the will of the voters and focus on rebuilding the middle class and investing in jobs, not job-killing cuts.

Check out some photos from the day. The whole album can be found on our Facebook page. Just click here!

( L to R: (1.) Gathering in the Rotunda to let Gov. Corbett know “Jobs, Not Cuts!”, (2.)Energized protestors dance their way to Corbett’s office, (3.) Fight for Philly volunteer, Suzanne demanding a economy that works for everyone)

Click here to see photos and tweets from other states demanding better jobs.

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Report: “Raising the Bar: Ensuring the That Airport Expansion Lifts All of Philadelphia”

Fight for Philly, which seeks to empower Philadelphia families to take action in their own communities, is releasing today “Raising the Bar: Ensuring That Airport Expansion Lifts All of Philadelphia.” The report offers prescriptions for the economic health of the city and region that include raising wages and benefits for these low-income airport workers.

The airport, a major economic engine for the city and region, supports over 141,000 jobs in the Philadelphia region and brings more than $14 billion in economic activity to the area, according to “Raising the Bar.” But, to cut costs, airlines at the airport long ago outsourced passenger service jobs to low-bid contractors.

A key recommendation of “Raising the Bar” is to implement at the airport the 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard, the city living wage law that guarantees that workers hired by the city or by companies with direct city contracts make 150% of the federal minimum wage, or $10.88, plus paid sick days. Doing so would result in increased earnings and more jobs for all Philadelphians.

Fight for Philly is part of a coalition of community groups, including Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER), UNITE HERE and SEIU 32BJ to join Philadelphia airport workers at a community forum for good jobs at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Grace Christian Fellowship, 6208 Grays Avenue, Philadelphia.  RSVP on Facebook here.

Read the report below, or download a PDF hereLeer en español aquí.

Raising the Bar_Ensuring That Airport Expansion Lifts All of Philadelphia

 


 

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Sign the petition: We need Jobs, not cuts!

Last week, the American people went to the polls and made our voices heard. We voted to put people back to work and rebuild the middle class. We voted down the Romney Economy, and instead elected leaders who will fight for working people and create jobs right here in America — that means investing in jobs and education, not cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Starting today, Congress will begin tackling issues that will have long-term effects on our economy. If our elected leaders act responsibly, they have an opportunity to shrink inequality and protect vital services that help support working families. It’s up to us to hold them accountable.

We’re sending a message to Congress to tell them to focus on job creation and economic growth, not devastating cuts that will cripple our recovery. And they can start right now by extending the tax cuts for the middle class.

Click here to co-sign the letter and tell Congress: We need jobs, not cuts.

We’ve learned in the past that Speaker Boehner and his ideologically-driven Republican caucus would prefer to give the wealthy a break while working people bear the brunt. Partisan saber rattling isn’t the mandate we voted for last week — and it’s not what’s going to fix our economy.

As our elected leaders address the national deficit and make wide-ranging decisions about our country’s budget, we have four crucial points they must keep in mind:

  • Create jobs and grow the economy. The best way to reduce the deficit is by investing in good jobs and keeping the economic recovery going.
  • Protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Any deal must protect the millions of Americans who depend on these core programs and maintain our nation’s safety net.
  • Let the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% expire and require corporations to pay their fair share. The middle class tax cuts should be extended immediately.
  • Protect vital public services like child care, Head Start, and special education.

As President Obama remarked last Friday, House Republicans should heed the call of voters and extend the middle class tax cuts ASAP.

Click to tell Congress to extend the middle class tax cuts and protect the vital services Americans depend on:

http://action.fightforphilly.org/page/s/jobsnotcuts

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