Wisconsin Jobs Now began in 2011 with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin’s support of nearly $1 million in that first year. This was at the beginning when Fight for $15 was still beginning to try to become a movement. 5 years later and Wisconsin Jobs Now has decided to dissolve its affiliation with the Fight for $15 movement. While the official announcement states this to be a mutual decision between WJN and SEIU, only time will tell the real reasons behind it.
Meanwhile, the Fight for $15 movement has developed a religious stance – one that says if you support this movement, you stand on morally “higher ground.” The Higher Ground Moral Declaration is available for any and all to sign. It equates supporting a $15 minimum wage with the
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The Service Employees are finally bringing their internal drama into the Fight for $15 movement. As California’s SEIU State Council leads a proposed ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West is doing the same thing. Both groups propose minimum wage increases, but vary on mandates for sick leave. All endeavors combined, the Service Employees have spent an estimated $80 million on the movement over the last three years.
The mayor of Syracuse raised the wage for city employees to $15 an hour last month; a Beacon Hill committee voted in favor of a $15 minimum wage in Boston by 2018; and, as we all know, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to bring the minimum wage in NYC to $15 by 2018
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Things are heating up in Missouri. Kansas City became the first city in the state to increase its minimum wage. Beginning August 24, 2015 minimum wage will increase to $8.50 an hour, up from $7.65, with the goal being to reach $13 by 2020. Enforcement will prove to be the most difficult part as many business owners question the legality of the decision. Nonetheless, expect St. Louis to make a similar move in the near future as SEIU has been focusing a lot of their resources in the area – more specifically, $2.3 million in the last two years. In Massachusetts, home health care workers won a starting wage increase to $15 an hour, up from $13.38.
Unfortunately, emotion rather than reason drives voter responses to issues like this. Economic studies, such as the one conducted by California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office, found that raising the minimum
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In the same way that Big Labor pimped for Obamacare in order to be seen “fighting for the little guy,” and then asked for exemptions from the law in order to have a union bargaining chip to pressure employers, unions are following the same playbook with “Fight for 15.”
In a 2013 interview, SEIU 775 President David Rolf admits that the union exemption to the $15 minimum wage initiative passed at SeaTac in Washington state was meant to be used as a union attack strategy.
Read the Freedom Foundation article here, or listen to the full interview here.
Former Occupy Wall Street activist, Kshama Sawant, was voted in as Council member in Seattle last week. The first member of Socialist party to hold office in the area in generations, she comes into the position with big plans for change. Sawant is an open supporter of Fight for 15, recently chartering a new website that accepts donations in support of the movement. 15 Now is centered in Seattle – where the push for $15 an hour minimum wage is making the most progress. Mayor Murray of Seattle is a key player in the movement as well, being the first city leader to attempt to implement a $15 an hour minimum wage for all city workers. This would be a big increase in a state that already has the nation’s highest minimum wage of $9.19 an hour. In other news, Seattle’s unemployment rate jumped in November. Coincidence?
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LRI’s Phil Wilson was asked to comment on a recent online article about the rise of the minimum wage in New York. Wilson explained the economic reasons that defy the “logic” of Big Labor (and most other Progressives) on the issue of minimum wage:
“The basic thrust of Big Labor’s argument is that every job should at least pay someone enough to get above the poverty line, no matter what that work is valued at by the market. Big Labor’s tactic is to try to embarrass and harass employers into raising wages above market rates, and barring that trying to force them to do so through legislation. Creating media and PR events is one of the things unions are very good at. Economics not so
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Ryan Williams, a Worker Center Watch advisor, highlighted quite an interesting point in his recent Washington Times article that addressed the negative effects of a higher minimum wage. He focused on the recent protest against McDonald’s USA President, Jeff Stratton. While the Fight for 15 crowd stood outside shouting versions of, “we can’t support our families on minimum wage,” Stratton was inside – utterly aware of what it means to be a minimum wage worker. Stratton began his career with McDonald’s behind the counter working for $1.60 an hour. He knows better than most what it means to be in an entry-level position and have to work one’s way up through the ranks. That is the point Williams makes in his article. Most service industry jobs are meant to be a starting point, not a lifelong career. Furthermore, he reports on how such a large raise in the minimum
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