November 12, 2015
By Joe Maniscalco
New York, NY – In the latest taping of LaborPress’ new radio show and podcast on WWRL 1600 AM, hosts Neal Tepel and Bill Hohlfeld talk about the Fight for $15 movement across the nation, as well as the ways New York City workers are reacting to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s long-awaited decision to raise the wage. Here’s a hint: nobody — including Local 372 President Shaun Francois I — wants to wait years for it to fully kick in. MagnaCare President Michael Jordan also delves deep into the many intricacies and challenges associated with what’s affectionately known as, “Obama Care.”
As Workers Independent News [WIN] Executive Producer Frank Emspak carefully notes on this week’s show, it wasn’t that long ago, when many though the idea of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was laughable. Now, however, it’s well on its way of becoming a reality — although slowly — in several major American cities on both coasts, with more to follow. Congress, meanwhile, thanks in part to a measure introduced by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, has an opportunity to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour on the federal level as well.
According to Emspak, the gains not only promise to put more money in the pockets of hardworking American men and women, it’s also doing something profound to boost confidence in themselves and their collective ability to improve their lives.
Low-wage earners gathered at Foley Square on November 10, to cheer Governor Cuomo’s move to extend a $15 minimum wage to state workers, certainly felt the high of a long-sought victory. But that jubilation was also tempered with the harsh reality that workers will have to wait until 2019 — at the soonest — before they actually attain the coveted $15 an hour pay rate.
Local 372 President Shaun Francois I tells the LaborPress team that he is not at all happy about the slow phase-in period. The head of the union representing public school workers — including crossing guards and food handlers — explains why his hard-pressed members can’t wait around years to start making a more livable wage — and why forcing them to do so, is actually “disrespectful.”
No matter what the minimum wage happens to be — affordable healthcare remains a cornerstone challenge for workers across all sectors of the economy. Even those enjoying comprehensive union plans are discovering that changes to healthcare as a result of the Affordable Healthcare Act, are making trips to the doctor more troublesome — think “Cadillac Tax.”
MagnaCare, one of the biggest players in the industry, is about to celebrate a special relaunch on December 2, that includes a host of new products and possibilities for fund managers. President Michael Jordan talks about those new additions, as well as the history behind Magna Care’s rise to marketplace prominence from very humble beginnings in 1990. Jordan also gives his thoughts on a single payer system, and whether or not he can envision a time when public and private healthcare options actually coexist.
Tune into WWRL 1600 AM at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings to hear all of these stories and many more!