As voters in Tacoma and Spokane prepare to decide whether to increase their cities’ minimum wage, $15 Now has set the rural city of Yakima in its sights.
The union-backed movement plans a rally today in Yakima to launch their campaign to force employers in that city to pay all workers a $15 minimum wage. The group, Working Washington, has called for Yakima's agricultural, fast food and other entry-level-wage workers to join them in demanding the same $15 wage as workers in Seatac and Spokane.
Yesterday the Spokane City Council announced it has put off considering a paid sick leave proposal until next year's budget work is complete. The City says the decision is in response to numerous requests for “additional time to public input and a more detailed analysis of potential economic and community health impacts.”
In June, Moody’s Investor Service warned a higher minimum wage could erode profit margins in the U.S. restaurant business. And while supporters of a high minimum wage like to say employers can afford to absorb the reduced profits, the reality is much different.
In the wake of the $15 minimum wage movement, some employers are opting to voluntarily increase the wages of their workers. Implementing across the board minimum wages for all of their workers, these employers say the higher wages will boost morale, improve productivity and reduce turnover. Whatever their motivation, such announcements usually come with a fair amount of media attention praising the employer’s generosity while minimum wage advocates hail the decision as proof every employer can afford to pay a higher wage.
In the midst of organized labor’s demands for a $15 minimum wage for all workers comes the revelation that they do not pay this so-called “living” wage to their employees.
The Washington Timesreports that as big labor bosses are boasting of their $15 minimum wage successes at the AFL-CIO’s annual summer meeting, at least one usher working the event told the reporter she did not earn $15 per hour.
Yesterday the Michigan Supreme Court upheld that state’s new right-to-work law with its ruling that state workers are subject to the law. This means public employees are subject to the same protections from forced unionism as those in private industries.
Last week Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), revealed he, and other union executives, believe unions will likely lose the Freidichs v California case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The loss would render forced unionism for public employees illegal; individual workers would have the right to decide for themselves whether to join a union and pay union dues.
Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), recently revealed he, and other union executives, believe the era of forced unionism for public sector workers is coming to an end. And surprisingly, he doesn’t think it will be the union-crippling catastrophe unions have long-claimed.
As fast food employers in the state of New York brace for that state’s impending $15 wage mandate, one business owner succinctly explained what the high wage will mean for her business and her employees:
It really is going to come to less people. What I envision is cutting labor, hiring less people, having less people per shift.”