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City Worker’s Pay Raise Rests In The Hands Of Voters

(credit:  Jessica Kourkounis/ Getty Images)

(credit: Jessica Kourkounis/ Getty Images)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia voters will be deciding on three ballot questions in tomorrow’s election, including one that would give a raise to thousands of workers in the city.

Ballot question one asks voters to let City Council extend the city’s minimum wage requirement (currently 10.88 an hour) even to companies that sub-contract for city work.

Mayor Nutter, who originally opposed the measure ended up pre-empting it, somewhat, by signing an executive order covering sub-contracted workers, but Gabe Morgan a service workers union director, says the ballot measure would make the raise permanent and binding.

“And that gives individual workers the ability to go to the city and demand the protection of the law,” Morgan said.

That sounds good to Chris Vega, a baggage handler at the airport, making 7.25 an hour.

“It’s hard to pay your bills, it’s a constant struggle,” Vega said.

Business groups normally opposed to minimum wage increases have not taken a position on the question.

Philadelphia voters could give raises to thousands of workers, tomorrow, when they vote on ballot question one.

Voters will also be asked to decide whether city officials should have to resign to run for another office, as the charter currently requires.

And whether council should have more control over contracts with law firms that defend indigent clients in criminal court.

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