Monday, June 1, 2015

EVIL Why Unions Exempt Themselves from Hard-Fought Minimum Wage Hikes

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Unions have been at the forefront of drives to raise the minimum wage to $10, $12, or $15 an hour. Take Fight for $15, funded by the Service Employees International Union, demonstrations that occur regularly outside fast food outlets.  Or, take Black Friday demonstrations outside Walmart, organized annually the day after Thanksgiving byOUR Walmart, funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers. But now that unions have achieved their goal in Los Angeles, their leaders want to exempt unionized workplaces from the minimum wage hike.  
Reasonable people might think that unions’ battles to raise the minimum wage are motivated by concern for low-income Americans. The union-funded Los Angeles campaign, Raise the Wage, stated, “Raise the minimum wage -- and not just a little, but enough to bring the hundreds of thousands of Angelenos who power our economy into the middle class. It's good for business, it's good for taxpayers, and, most of all, it's the right thing to do for workers, who have earned it.” The Los Angeles City Council was persuaded, and voted to increase the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour. 
Although the union-funded Raise the Wage campaigned so vociferously in favor of a $15.25 minimum wage, unions are seeking exemptions from the higher wages for their members. The exemption, or escape clause, would allow them greater strength in organizing workplaces.  Unions can tell fast food chains, hotels, and hospitals that if they agree to union representation, their wage bill will be substantially lower.  That will persuade employers to allow the unions to move in.  

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