President Barack Obama has been making modest impact in lowering the unemployment rate and boosting job creation, in the face of sabotage and petty opposition from Republicans in Congress.
By Carmen Glover
Women For Hire has been a strong advocate for job seekers over the years, organizing job fairs, facilitating workshops and providing timely resources designed to impart nuggets of information for the ever-growing bloc of the workforce seeking employment or improved working conditions. So when Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire, sent out a lengthy email yesterday, it made sense to see what she had to say.
Entitled “Not a Happy Email,” Johnson shared the tale of Jacques le Sourd, 64, late theater critic for a newspaper in Westchester, NY, for 35 years, and a friend of her husband’s, who died recently. “The coroner said it was a heart attack but those who loved Jacques le Sourd know better: it was a pink slip that cut him down,” Johnson stated.
Johnson then proceeded to talk about her childhood friend Susan Fruchtman, who has an MBA from Duke University. According to the email, Fruchtman, 42, who worked in marketing and finance at Fortune 500 companies for 15 years, had her job eliminated in 2010 and, despite assiduously seeking full-time employment, has only managed to work in temporary jobs, exhausting $60,000 in savings and forced to receive Medicaid for healthcare.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, with Anthony Shorris, first deputy mayor, is committed to enacting city-wide increased minimum wage measures.
Recent job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the unemployment rate hovers at 6.6.%. This is due to a combination of the Obama Administration creating jobs in spite of the war that Republicans in Congress have declared on his economic agenda and blocking every single measure that he has proposed to ease the toll that acute unemployment has taken on the populace. Nevertheless, President Obama has trudged on, and against all odds, the numbers are shifting in the right direction, albeit slowly.
During his State of the Union Address and at various campaign-style stops that he has made subsequently, President Obama has repeated one single mantra: “No one who works full-time should live in poverty,” as he emphasized the importance of companies, government contractors in particular, raising the minimum wage to $10.10. The President’s quest to increase minimum wage has captivated the nation’s attention, with many conservative politicians and employers insisting that such action would drain jobs from an already fragile economy, while struggling workers and their advocates have argued that paying less than the proposed $10.10 is inhumane.
In New York, the Daily News has launched an aggressive campaign to highlight the dreadful conditions endured by Port Authority workers whose employers are contracted by private companies to clean, and provide other routine services at John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LaGuardia Airports. The campaign has reaped some success, with more expected.
Meanwhile newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio, has proposed measures to authorize increased minimum wage across the city, only to be put in check by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said such action “would be unconstitutional.” Regardless of what configuration of the unemployment and low minimum wage battle results in expansive changes, one thing is clear: action is needed now to restore a sense of hope, dignity and optimism to a battered workforce that yearns for meaningful opportunities to work, provide for their families, pursue dreams and survive.–OnPointPress.net
Please follow us on Twitter @OnPointPress_.