Skip to content
Inquirer Morning Headlines
Link copied to clipboard

Philly approves ‘Fair Workweek’ law; the push for land sale reform | Morning Newsletter

All the local news you need to know to start your day, delivered straight to your email.

Salewa Ogunmefun, right, of One PA, speaks as advocates hold a press conference for the "Fair Workweek" scheduling bill before Council votes at City Hall in Philadelphia, PA on October 30, 2018.
Salewa Ogunmefun, right, of One PA, speaks as advocates hold a press conference for the "Fair Workweek" scheduling bill before Council votes at City Hall in Philadelphia, PA on October 30, 2018.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

As we head into the weekend, many workers across Philadelphia are cheering for another reason. City Council has passed a "Fair Workweek" law which will lead to more predictable schedules for thousands of employees across the city. But it doesn't come without critics. Meanwhile, the Council's president is proposing legislation that will take aim at loopholes in the system that allowed developers to rack up big profits on city-owned land. Money is also flowing into 30th Street. A federal grant will send millions of dollars toward the effort to revitalize SEPTA's 30th Street subway stop.

Reading this online? Sign up here to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.

— Ray Boyd (@RayBoydDigital,

» READ MORE: Philadelphia approves ‘Fair Workweek’ and wage hike

With a 14-3 vote, City Council has made Philly the latest city to pass a "Fair Workweek" law. It will regulate how retail, fast-food, and hospitality companies assign their workers to shifts, making it easier for employees to budget and plan their lives. But critics argue it will hurt business growth.

Workers launched a campaign nearly a year ago to fight for more predictable schedules for service industry jobs. Seattle stands as the leader in worker protection laws. Philly's law might be stronger than other cities' in some ways, experts say. But it's weaker in others.

According to Councilwoman Helen Gym, the law will impact 130,000 workers. City Council also voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage for city workers and those employed by city contractors.

» READ MORE: Council president proposes land sale reform in Philadelphia

City Council President Darrell Clarke is proposing legislation to close loopholes in the city's land sale process that allowed developers to make money off the shortcomings in the system.

In November, reporters Mark Fazlollah and William Bender reported Councilman Kenyatta Johnson helped a childhood friend purchase three valuable city-owned lots and flip them for a profit.

Johnson says he supports Clarke's legislation which would call for city approval before a purchaser could resell property acquired from the city.

» READ MORE: SEPTA’s 30th Street stop is getting a makeover

A lot is changing at 30th Street Station and the area that surrounds it. SEPTA's 30th Street subway stop is set for an upgrade thanks to a $15 million federal grant.

The money — from the Department of Transportation — will bolster millions in funding already put forth by SEPTA and the Brandywine Realty Trust. The plan is for a $37 million upgrade of the site by 2020.   

It's all part of an even bigger effort to remake 30th Street Station, including reopening a tunnel that connects subway and trolley lines to the Amtrak station.

What you need to know today

  1. A Philadelphia man has been charged with killing three people inside a Tioga home where he was a boarder. Police say the man continued living there for at least another day while stealing items.

  2. Public health officials are praising City Council for upholding regulations to reduce Philly's number of tobacco retailers. But small-business owners are singing a different tune.

  3. The New Jersey Attorney General's Office argues that low-income and minority communities often suffer the most from environmental problems. That's why state officials are going after local polluters.

  4. While on the campaign trail, President Trump claimed that his organization "didn't have one illegal immigrant on the job." Now, undocumented workers at his New Jersey golf club are speaking out.

  5. The Philadelphia City Archives — said to be one of America's most comprehensive collections of city records — has moved into a new state-of-the-art facility in Northern Liberties after 20 years in hiding.

  6. Funeral arrangements have been announced for this weekend for Mayor Kenney's father, James F. Kenney, who died Tuesday. The mayor thanked Philadelphians for their "thoughtful messages" of comfort to him and his family.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

What a gorgeous shot of history. Thanks for sharing, @thrudseyes.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. If you like to root for Philly natives at big award shows, you have plenty to support at the Golden Globes. The nominations are in and Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born looks poised to steal the show.

  2. Speaking of award shows, Kevin Hart was set to host the upcoming Academy Awards. But the Philly native has decided to step down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets.

  3. As my colleague Mike Newall writes, the security guard role at Kensington's McPherson Square Library extends beyond the rows of books. It spills outside where the opioid crisis calls the library's lawn home.

  4. Sorry, Justin Timberlake fans. The pop star has canceled his upcoming Philly show to heal from a bruised vocal cord. But don't worry. He's coming back to town soon.

  5. While we're on the subject of hot tickets … Iconic rap group Wu-Tang Clan is coming to Philly for the first time in years to celebrate the anniversary of one of their greatest works.

  6. The company that operates three Ritz theater locations in Philly has been bought by Cohen Media Group. As reporter Nick Vadala writes, this could be great news for area cinephiles.


"It's bright. It's vibrant. It's the life of the party. And in all honesty, after the year we've had — all of the unnecessary shootings, the natural disasters, and political animosity — I would have preferred a no-nonsense navy or a cloudy gray." — Columnist Elizabeth Wellington on the selection of Living Coral as the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year.
  1. America's national parks, including Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park, are crumbling and need Congress to step up, writes the Inquirer Editorial Board.

  2. The Pa. Supreme Court's decision to redact the names of Catholic clergy in the grand jury report on sexual abuse in the church is a win for due process, writes columnist Christine Flowers.

What we’re reading

  1. Author Flor Edwards pens a deeply personal essay for HuffPost about growing up in a doomsday cult. She explains why a person never really recovers from leaving one.

  2. Sixers legend Allen Iverson shared some life stories via The Players' Tribune. Basketball great. Cultural icon. Beloved. Hated. As A.I. puts it, he's been everything in life but normal.

  3. Chabad at Temple University gathered this week to celebrate Hanukkah for the first time since the controversial remarks of professor Marc Lamont Hill. The Temple News reports the group's leader feels the university "fell woefully short," in its response.

  4. Millennials have been blamed for killing everything from mayonnaise to home ownership. But as Vox tells us, our love for nostalgia might be saving the real Christmas tree industryYou're welcome.

  5. It turns out young people miss speed dating too. The Seattle Times writes that daters, in what's been called America's toughest city to find love, are swapping swipe time for face time.

Your Daily Dose of | Aroma

Sights and sounds won't be the only things you're hit with during the Pennsylvania Ballet's The Nutcracker. You'll also have a chance to experience the show's distinct scent.