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Celebrations Ensue After Living Wage Charter Change Approval

(Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia voters this past week approved a change in the city charter requiring city subcontractors to give raises to their workers.

The success of that referendum prompted a celebration at City Council among those who had fought for the change.

Members of the service workers union 32BJ SEIU and the activist group POWER celebrated passage of the charter change at City Hall.

It was the culmination of months of hearings, proposals and protests spurred by the plight of workers at the airport.  One of those workers, Onetha McKnight, thanked voters:

“I want to thank the citizens of Philadelphia for voting for the minimum wage increase.  This means a whole lot to airport workers like myself.  I now receive $5.75 an hour, and this (raise to) $10.88 means a whole lot to me.”

But organizers said approval is not the end of the battle.

What comes next is enforcement, to make sure the employers are following what’s now the new city law.

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