Spring 2016

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50 CINEMONTAGE / Q2 2016 LABOR MAT TERS by the end of 2018, though businesses with fewer than 10 employees would get an extra year. In the suburbs near New York City, the wage would climb to $15 by the end of 2022. The increases are more gradual upstate, where the wage would hit $15 based on a yet-to-be-determined schedule. Economists have long debated the impact of a higher minimum wage. Some studies have found that higher wages contributed to job cuts, while others found little effect on hiring because employers could absorb the costs or pass them along to customers. Either way, higher minimum wage thresholds lead to more money pumped back into the economy. CANDIDATES DEBATE MINIMUM WAGE In April, frontrunner Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stood proudly with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he signed legislation to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. "We need to build on what was done here in New York and go all the way to Washington and raise the minimum wage for everybody," she said. Clinton offered a nuanced plan to raise the minimum wage to different levels based on economic conditions on the ground. Clinton has allied herself with Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), who introduced a bill in 2015 to increase the minimum wage, in steps, from its current level of $7.25 to $12 by 2020. Clinton's rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, has taken a more difficult route, calling for a national $15 an hour minimum wage. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump had dismissed the notion of a minimum wage hike. At a televised debate in November, Trump said "They were talking about increasing the minimum wage. And whether it's taxes or minimum wages, if they're too high, we're not going to be able to compete with other countries... I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is," he told debate moderator Neil Cavuto of Fox News. At press time in early May, however, Trump told CNN that he's "open" to seeing low-wage workers make more than the current minimum wage by having them get "better jobs" that pay more. "There is essentially a kind of sub-primary between Sanders and Trump in the battle of ideas in opposing the establishment and promoting real and powerful change," writes Brent Dudowsky in The Hill. In a potential "Sanders-Trump contest for the anti-establishment mantle" Dudowsky sees polling advantages for Sanders. "[To] white, blue-collar workers — often called 'Reagan Democrats' — the Sanders form of populism has great appeal... He offers strong opposition to insiders, strong support for increased minimum wage and strong opposition to trade agreements that are seen as having lost American jobs. Trump also opposes many of the same trade policies that Sanders opposes, but Trump...has stated that, in his opinion, American workers are actually overpaid — an absurd notion that is offensive to working-class Reagan Democrats and blue-collar workers generally." SAG-AFTRA PRESIDENT KEN HOWARD DIES AT 71 Ken Howard, president of SAG- AFTRA and an actor known for his role on TV's The White Shadow, died on March 23 at age 71. No cause of death was given. Howard was a Tony- and Emmy-winning actor whose legacy was the merger of SAG and AFTRA. The merger's success was a tribute to Howard's commitment to the idea of one union covering all film and TV performers, broadcasters and recording artists, writes David Robb in Deadline Hollywood. Howard died just a week short of the combined entity's fourth anniversary. Howard was born in El Centro, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination announcements in 2009. Photo by S. Bukley/shutterstock. com Clinton offered a nuanced plan to raise the minimum wage to different levels based on economic conditions on the ground.

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