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In Gilded City, Living Wage Proposal Still Stirs Fears

In 1996, the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organizing group that has built thousands of homes across New York City, proposed that private firms contracting with the city pay food service workers, security guards, cleaners and temporary office workers a wage that ranged at the time from $7.25 to $12 an hour. “We started with a pretty simple idea: If you work full time, you shouldn’t be poor,” recalled Jonathan Lange, an organizer with Metro I.A.F., the local affiliate.

Living Wage, Again

Amid the uproar during the past few weeks over the proposed living wage law there’s one important point that you might have missed: the city already has a living-wage law. Its rules cover thousands of workers employed under more than $1 billion worth of contracts with the city.  In fact, New York City had one of the first living-wage laws in the country, though the city’s first bill covered just a couple thousand workers.

TELCO delivers commitments for a Living Wage Olympics in London 2012

London 2012 from its inception has been an organising opportunity for TELCO, and the work continues. Over 700 people gathered at an Assembly in November 2010 to focus on the Olympics. We negotiated publicly with officials from all three Olympic Games agencies (the Delivery Authority, the Organising Committee, and the Legacy Company). A month after our action, LOCOG (the Organising Committee for the Games) announced that all 130,000 jobs during the Games will be paid at least a London Living Wage. During April, TELCO schools took advantage of the International Olympic Committee visiting London and organised a celebration rally of the Ethical Guarantees that were struck between TELCO and the Olympic agencies. Over 300 students from East London schools attended the celebration rally; gave ‘Civil Society’ awards to the Chief Executives of the Olympic agencies; reminded them of their commitments to the organised people of East London and asked LOCOG to work with TELCO to ensure that local people are given job opportunities during the Games. We have since held two successful pilot jobs fayres, spearheaded by St Thomas More in North Hackney and St Katherine’s in Bow. In September, the TELCO team plans to roll out ten jobs fairs, clustered around anchor institutions.

Citizens UK negotiates living wage agreements with major private sector employers.

On 2nd May 2011, Trust for London announced to the 2,000 citizens at Citizens UK's Living Wage 10th Anniversary Assembly the new rate of £8.30 per hour. A new figure was also agreed with Loughborough University and Rowntrees at £7.20 per hour for employers outside London.  A focus on the retail sector was agreed by the Living Wage Steering Committee and ‘Lush’ from the private sector offered to lead the way across their 20 outlets. It was also agreed to explore the four major supermarket chains and to seek a working relationship with them for the long term. 

In Howard, Ulman advocates push for summer environment jobs

Pollution of the Chesapeake Bay can't be eliminated in one summer, and there's no apparent way to find a job for every unemployed youth in Howard County, but a faith-based county group says it has a plan to make a dent in both problems. People Acting Together in Howard, or PATH, is combining efforts with County Executive Ken Ulman to create summer youth jobs by training and paying students to build dozens of small rain gardens to help reduce polluting stormwater runoff...

Living Wage campaign marks 10 years of fighting for the poorest

It took on the banks and persuaded schools, hospitals and Westfield shopping centre to raise pay for workers. Now, on the eve of a 10th anniversary rally, the movement has Tesco in its sights too. Ken Livingstone calls them "the best example of the big society I've seen in the past decade". London Citizens, which started as a ragtag band of church groups and trade unionists appalled at the living conditions of many workers in the capital, will hold a mass rally in St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square tomorrow to celebrate 10 years of its Living Wage campaign...

Cheers for the end of poverty pay

Cleaners will get a pay rise as Queen Mary College becomes the first living-wage campus in the UK.

They are an essential part of every university. They start work when everyone else leaves, and finish before most others get there in the morning. They are poorly paid, receive no holiday or sick pay and often take on two or three jobs to make ends meet. Contracted cleaners, security guards and caterers are academia's dirty secret. But last Thursday, Queen Mary, part of the University of London, voted to abolish "poverty pay" on campus...

London 2012 Wins Local Seal of Approval

London's Olympic bid is to receive a massive boost with the signing of a "people's compact" which will guarantee jobs, training and homes for local residents.

The Guardian has learned that after weeks of negotiations, officials from the bid company, London 2012, the office of the mayor, Ken Livingstone, and the residents' pressure group, London Citizens, will sign a detailed agreement next week.

The breakthrough has been eagerly sought because it allows officials behind the bid to indicate a measure of support among grassroots communities...

East End to Strike Gold

Leaders of London's Olympic bid have pledged that the capital's residents will share the benefits of hosting the 2012 Games.

They have signed up to an "ethical contract", promising a "living wage" for workers, affordable new homes, skills training and better health care for communities around the proposed Olympic village in Stratford.

Mayor Ken Livingstone and bid chairman Lord Coe hope the commitment will boost London's chances as its battle to host the 2012 Games enters the final lap...

A message to Fenty and Gray: It's All About Jobs

For several months, the focus of the District's mayoral campaign, and much of the media coverage of it, has been on the contrasting personal styles of the front-runners, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. We in the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) think it's time for the campaign and the candidates to focus on the issues instead. As an organization, WIN does not endorse candidates, but we do our best to hold those who run for office accountable to the people on the issues that affect their lives.

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