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City Council Wants To Expand "Living Wage" Requirements

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--City Council wants to expand its "living wage" requirements for companies that do business with City Hall and that question could go to the voters next spring.

A final vote is expected in City Council this coming week on a possible ballot question on whether to change the living wage provisions in the City Charter.

The provision requires companies that do business with the city to pay its workers 150 percent of the federal minimum wage. The expansion would apply that standard to subcontractors.

Spurring this plan was the issue of employees of subcontractors at Philadelphia International Airport.

At a hearing this past week, one worker, wheelchair attendant Onetha McKnight, said she's not getting anywhere close to a living wage.

"I started working at $7 an hour. And today, six years later, I still receive $7 per hour. I receive tips, but tips are not guaranteed. It's unfair that airport workers receive poverty wages and no affordable benefits."

The Nutter Administration has misgivings about the proposed charter change; officials fear it could affect grant recipients. If the question does gain approval, it would be put to voters in next May's primary.

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