Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment Blog

Former Starbucks President Offers Common Sense Perspective on the Minimum Wage Debate

January 27, 2015 in Blog

Today The Seattle Times printed an excellent editorial on the minimum wage debate by former Starbucks president, and WPC supporter, Howard Behar.  The editorial offers some common sense perspective from a respected business leader, and admitted “pragmatic progressive,” on the controversial and often polarizing issue. 

WSJ Opines America is Becoming Like Europe…and Not in a Good Way

January 27, 2015 in Blog

The Wall Street Journal published an outstanding editorial on the consequences of following in Europe’s footsteps by mandating unsustainably high wages for entry-level jobs.   The editorial concludes America is “becoming more like Europe, with an economy unwelcoming to the unskilled and unprivileged trying to find an entry into the world of work.”

I’ve included the entire editorial below, but here is the CliffsNotes version:

Forbes Magazine Highlights Minimum Wage Panel at WPC Solutions Summit

January 27, 2015 in Blog

A column in the February issue of Forbes magazine on the minimum wage features the panelists from WPC’s small business panel at the recent WPC Solutions Summit.  Noting that Seattle is “ground zero” in the minimum wage war, the column, “The Real Minimum Wage: Zero,” details the compelling remarks of two of the panelists—former Starbucks president Howard Behar and small business owner Taylor Hoang—in response to Seattle’s $15 minimum wage:

With a $1.5 Billion Annual Price Tag, It's No Wonder Unions Want Special Exemption From Paid Leave Bills

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The House Labor Committee is considering paid sick leave and paid vacation bills.  Let’s examine the costs these mandates would impose on the non-union businesses that would be required to provide them.

HB 1356 would require employers with 5 or more employees to pay employees for 5, 7 or 9 days of sick leave per year, depending on the size of the company. 

Bills Imposing Paid Sick Leave, Paid Vacation and Triple Pay for Working Thanksgiving=Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy and More Hypocrisy

January 26, 2015 in Blog

What do bills mandating paid sick leave (HB 1356), paid vacation (HB 1163) and triple pay for employees who work on Thanksgiving Day (HB 1694) have in common?  Besides increasing the costs for employers, all three bills exempt workers from these benefits if they are a union member.

Spokane Group Preps to Push “Worker Bill of Rights”

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The labor-backed group Envision Spokane is reportedly working on a “Worker Bill of Rights” for the City of Spokane.  Founded by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Envision Spokane is comprised of more than two-dozen unions, community organizations and groups with ties to national organizations.

Two Minimum Wage Bills, Same Result

January 23, 2015 in Blog

The battle to increase the state’s minimum wage is in full swing in the Legislature.  In just the second week of the Legislative Session, two bills have already been introduced to require employers to pay every worker a higher minimum wage.

Agency Study on State's Economic Climate Doesn't Paint a Complete Picture of Business Costs

January 22, 2015 in Blog

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council recently released its annual “Washington State Economic Climate Study.”  The report is charged with weighing a series of benchmarks under four main indicators (Innovation Drivers, Business Performance, Economic Growth and Competitiveness, Quality of Life) that are supposed to characterize the competitive environment of the state and measuring how Washington compares with other states.

National Union Boss Says Right-to-Work Helps Unions

December 19, 2014 in Blog

Bucking the conventional union argument that right-to-work laws are union-busting, the Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers says right-to-work laws are good.  In fact, the national labor boss says he actually prefers to organize in a right-to-work state because it helps unions:

“This is something I’ve never understood, that people think right-to-work hurts unions…to me, it helps them.”

New Study Shows Minimum Wage Hike Killed 1.4 Million Jobs for Low-Skilled Workers

December 18, 2014 in Blog

A National Bureau of Economic Research study released late last month by economists with the University of California at San Diego found that mandatory increases in the federal minimum wage between 2007 and 2009 had “significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers.”  The study shows hikes in the federal minimum wage during the Great Recession led to the loss of approximately 1.4 million jobs held