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wages

Bill Radke speaks with Ben Casselman, chief economics writer at FiveThirtyEight.com, and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant about the new minimum wage study from the University of Washington.

Casselman explains that the study found Seattle's minimum wage hike to $13 has led to hours cut and other issues that have hurt workers' earnings.

Sawant disagrees with the study, claiming there are methodological issues. She also argues for shifting the focus towards the inflated incomes of CEOs and other high-wage earners. 

Dave Meinert, owner of the 5 Point Cafe, supports Seattle's minimum wage hike but he has cut workers' hours.
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

A new report on Seattle's groundbreaking minimum wage law has bad news for some low-wage workers. Even though hourly wages are up, low-wage workers' earnings overall were flat in Seattle during an economic boom.  


After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Passengers who use the ride-hailing app Uber will now have the option to tip their driver.

The company has refused to offer it until now, even though drivers have long requested it and competing app Lyft already allows tipping.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A proposal for a federal $15 minimum wage was rolled out in Congress Thursday. Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the bill.

Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, among other jurisdictions, have all decided on a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Would a universal basic income solve poverty?

May 12, 2017

Bill Radke talks with historian Rutger Bregman and author of the new book "Utopia for Realists." The book details, in part, Bregman's belief that there should be a universal basic income, where everyone is given enough money to put them above the poverty line, even if they don't work. Bregman believes this would solve multiple problems while costing a fraction of what is spent on poverty measures now. He also believes a basic income for everyone would allow people to rethink the true value of work. 

Oregon lawmakers are considering proposals aimed at making sure women are paid the same rate as men for similar work. Two measures were introduced this week.

Eileen Donoher lives in Snohomish and commutes to the UW Medical Center. She has three small children. 'We can make it work,' she says.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The Seattle area is getting more expensive. People are finding new ways to adapt, like moving farther away for affordable housing.

But what happens when you still need to work in the city — say, at a hospital in Seattle’s core?

Patricia Aguilar, 21, began working at DeRuyter Brothers Dairy in central Washington nearly three years ago. She worked at the dairy's milking parlor, which she says handles about 3000 cows three times each day, seven days a week. Aguilar was one of four dairy workers responsible for pushing and guiding the cows into the parlor, connecting the animals to milking machines, wiping them and the machinery down, and cleaning towels and milk tanks.

The widening gap between rich and poor Americans has pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to around 50 percent, economic researchers say. That's a sharp fall from 1940, when 90 percent of kids were destined to move up the income ladder.

The Obama administration is challenging a federal judge's decision last month to block the implementation of a new rule that would have made 4 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

The Department of Labor and its co-defendants filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Thursday, the same day that the rule was set to take effect before the temporary injunction was issued.

Unionized Washington state employees want a pay raise. They plan to rally Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Bill Radke speaks with Stephen Rodrick about why he decided to profile Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price for Esquire magazine and what he learned. Price made headlines when he slashed his own million dollar salary to raise the salary of all his employees to $70,000 a year. 

Tens of thousands of Oregonians will get a raise Friday when the state's minimum wage goes up for the first time in 18 months.

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Kim Malcolm talks with Puget Sound Business Journal editor-in-chief Emily Parkhurst about Dan Price, CEO of Ballard-based Gravity Payments. In 2015, Price announced he would raise the minimum salaries of all of his employees to $70,000. Price is now being sued by his brother Lucas Price, a minority shareholder in the company.

In recent years, there's been a no-tipping movement within the restaurant industry.

The idea has been to rectify a basic pay unfairness to even out the pay between tipped and untipped employees. Dishwashers and cooks at the back of the house don't earn as much money as waiters because they don't get tips.

So, do away with tipping, raise menu prices a little bit, and pay everyone a higher wage.

To understand the economy, you have to do a lot of measuring. What's bigger? What's growing? What's unequal?

On national Equal Pay Day, women and economists take a hard look at incomes. And their measurements show that after decades of the equal-rights battles, men still get bigger paychecks — sometimes for the same work.

April 12 is National Equal Pay Day
Flickr Photo/Metropolico.org (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/mhj6K8

There's essentially no pay-gap for women or people of color who work for Microsoft. The company has released that data in time for National Equal Pay Day, today.

Microsoft research shows women make 99.8 cents per every dollar made by men in the same company role. The ratio for people of color compared to white employees is dollar-for-dollar, on average.

File photo of tech computer
Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/eUtLoM

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement for Arjuna Capital, about activist investing and the firm's role in pressuring tech companies to close the gender pay gap.   

Many Americans tell pollsters and politicians that they're angry. Why?

At least part of the answer might be tucked inside the February jobs report, released Friday by the Labor Department. Consider this:

school classroom education
Flickr Photo/KT King (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8oTq2a

Bill Radke talks to Governor Jay Inslee about his proposal to raise teacher salaries in Washington state as a way of dealing with the teacher shortage. 

The Obama administration is proposing a new rule to address unequal pay practices by requiring companies with more than 100 employees to submit salary data by race, gender and ethnicity.

The announcement comes seven years after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — his first piece of legislation as president — which makes it easier for women to challenge discriminatory pay in court.

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Bill Radke speaks with Karen Weise, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek, about Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments in Seattle. Price rose to fame after raising the minimum wage at his company to $70,000. But Weise says he created an image of altruism while downplaying some inconvenient facts. 

tip restaurant money
Flickr Photo/Eric Heath (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1N9PRX1

Chef Renee Erickson says she was trying to close pay gaps among her employees when she eliminated tipping at her Seattle restaurants.

But she told KUOW’s David Hyde that the change also might help battle another problem in restaurants: sexism.

Ross Reynolds talks with University of California Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti, author of “The New Geography of Jobs,” about how the Seattle area can avoid the growing pains of a booming economy like unaffordable housing and traffic gridlock.

Moretti says improved mass transit it a key because it helps low income people get to jobs. Moretti also says Seattle’s $15 minimum wage will help mitigate the higher prices that come with growth, but he’s confident that growth will eventually lead to higher wages for everyone too.

Workers who harvest clams at a Bellingham-based company say their employer underpaid them for years. They have filed a lawsuit for wage theft.

 

David Hyde spoke with News Tribune reporter Kathleen Cooper about two proposals to hike the minimum wage in Tacoma that are on the November ballot.  

Minimum wage workers in Oregon won't see a pay raise next year. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian announced Wednesday that Oregon's minimum wage will hold steady for the first time since 2010.

teacher salary education
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Standing outside Roosevelt High School on Thursday, a Seattle teacher held up the gold standard.

It was the tentative contract for Everett schools, which promises veteran teachers with a master’s degree and the maximum education credits nearly $100,000 by 2017.

Liban Ahmed handles baggage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He says he'll use the extra money to buy a car, save for college and visit his mom in Mogadishu, who he has not seen in 15 years.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

About 4,700 workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are about to get a big raise. The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the city of SeaTac’s $15 an hour minimum wage applies to airport employees.

Seattle City Hall
Flickr Photo/Daniel X. O'Neil (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1OGMTuh

Marcie Sillman speaks with Seattle journalist and The C is For Crank blogger Erica C. Barnett about a recent report on gender pay equity for City of Seattle employees.

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