Seeking to help workers, Philadelphia City Council holds hearings on parking lot attendants, domestic help

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia City Council committee heard testimony Monday as they explore ways to help some of the lowest paid, least protected workers in the city: parking lot attendants and domestic help

A recent study by Steve Herzenberg of the Keystone Research Center prompted the hearing on parking industry pay.

Herzenberg says his study found the average attendant makes $9.50 an hour, which is too low to support themselves in 40 hours, let alone a family. 

“Given limited opportunities for upward mobility within this industry, there is only one solution that can lift these workers into the middle class. They need better pay and benefits,” Herzenberg said. 

Related: Report: Majority of parking workers live in poverty, work multiple jobs

“The accusation, I think, is very misleading,” said Parking magnate Rob Zuritsky.

While Zuritsky wasn’t invited to the hearing, he takes issue with Herzenberg’s report and testimony.

“They start at $12 and go up from there and we also all pay benefits and retirement,” he said. 

While the point of the parking industry hearing was just to raise awareness, the hearing on domestic workers was intended to help shape legislation. 

Deputy mayor for labor Rich Lazer notes domestic workers have been left out of federal, state and local protections on overtime and discrimination. 

“As a result, domestic workers have long faced job insecurity, wage theft, harassment, discrimination and other workplace abuses,” Lazer said.

Lazer says the city is working with city council to develop a domestic workers bill of rights, to bring them more stability.

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