REGISTERING TO VOTE HAS CHANGED
Voter registration forms have added new identification requirements. Currently, if you need to register to vote in New York State you will need to provide a verifiable New York driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have either of these, and you are registering for the first time and are doing so by mail, you may provide a copy of a valid photo ID, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or some other government documentation that shows your name and address. If you do not provide identification with your voter registration form, you will be asked for it the first time you vote.
Thanks to the New York State AFL-CIO, Local 802 now has the new voter registration forms at the union’s office at 322 West 48th Street. Please stop by the public relations office at anytime during business hours to pick one up. If you are unable to pick up a voter registration form, please call (212) 245-4802, ext. 176, provide us with your mailing information and one will be mailed out to you.
FROM MORE PAY TO NO PAY
New York is experiencing a job shift from higher-paying to lower-paying industries according to a report released this week by the Fiscal Policy Institute. FPI’s James Parrot said, “During this ‘job-loss’ recovery over the past two years, some industries have added jobs… However, on average, the industries adding jobs pay wages that are $20,500, or 38 percent less than the industries that continued to lose jobs.” The report and other economic resources are available at www.fiscalpolicy.org.
Contrary to what many opponents of an increased minimum wage contend, the report found that raising the minimum wage is an effective way to boost the incomes of low-income families. Other highlights of the report include:
- Nearly 700,000 workers (the number earning from $5.15 to $6.99 an hour) would directly benefit from an increase in the New York minimum wage.
- An additional 500,000 workers (those earning from $7 to $7.99) would likely benefit from a “spillover” effect that would raise their pay.
- The beneficiaries of a minimum wage increase would overwhelmingly be adults (74 percent) and those working more than half time (78 percent).
STOP OVERTIME PAYCUTS
President Bush is using his executive authority, without involvement from the House of Representatives, to change America’s overtime regulations. According to the New York State AFL-CIO, eight million workers could lose their right to overtime pay — putting billions of dollars in the pockets of corporations. Please call the White House switchboard at (202) 456-1111 and leave a message with the operator urging President Bush to stop his overtime take-away plan. Also, sign up to fight back at www.saveovertimepay.org.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR A TAX CREDIT?
Mayor Bloomberg and Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra, joined by Congressman Charles Rangel and various coalition partners, kicked off New York City’s second coordinated campaign to increase the number of New Yorkers who file for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This year, eligible filers will be able to simply call the city’s information hotline at 311 to locate the free tax assistance site most convenient for them.