Jump to content
Boiler

Los Angeles union wants to be exempt from $15 minimum wage it fought for

8 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/29/los-angeles-unions-exempt-15-dollar-minimum-wage

Union officials in Los Angeles are fighting to be excluded from minimum wage rules that they have lobbied to put in place.

Los Angeles city council is set to vote on a union-backed clause to its $15-an-hour minimum wage bill that would exempt workers covered by a collective bargaining contract. The debate is expected to start later this week when the council returns from summer recess.

Los Angeles city council approves $15 minimum wage by 2020
Read more
In May, the Los Angeles city council voted in favor of raising minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. As the council prepared for a final vote on the legislation, the Los Angeles Times reported local union leaders had suggested an exemption that was common for such laws: to make companies with unionized workforces exempt from such wage increase.

The proposal was made by Rusty Hicks, executive secretary-treasurer at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Hicks has been a leading voice for raising the minimum wage. He declined to comment for this story, referring the Guardian to previously released statements when he first introduced the proposal for the exemption clause.

Hicks has previously argued that in collective bargaining agreements, business owners and employees can “prioritize what is important to them”. Under the proposed clause, the unionized workers would be paid whatever their contracted hourly wage was even if the local minimum wage were raised to higher.

“This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing,” said Hicks, who is also one of the main organizer for Raise The Wage.

Raise the Wage and the local chapter of the AFL-CIO have been instrumental in rounding up support for the $15 minimum wage. The union had devoted a significant amount of resources to the effort, and its logo was seen at many of the marches and events held in support of the Fight for $15 movement.

After drawing criticism from both sides, Hicks released the following statement: “Raise the Wage stands with the City Council and supports the minimum wage ordinance as currently drafted.”

At that time, the copy of the bill did not exclude workers covered by a collective bargaining contract such as home healthcare workers. The union, however, did not drop the issue, but instead put it on hold for the time being.

“There are a number of outstanding issues that are in need of further review, including the collective bargaining supersession clause,” Hick’s statement continued, referring to the proposal. “This clause preserves and protects basic worker rights, and that is why nearly every city in California that has ever passed a minimum wage ordinance has included these protections.”

The ordinance to increase LA’s minimum wage to $15 officially passed after a third vote on 10 June, with local lawmakers voting 12 to 1 in favor of the bill. The issue of collective bargaining clause was left unresolved.

Such a clause is common in ordinances and laws passed to increase local minimum wage. Similar clauses have been included in legislations passed in Chicago and Milwaukee. In California alone, such clauses were included in wage bills in San Jose, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, a business interest lobby group.

Seattle minimum wage: $15 figure represents 'historic victory' for workers
Read more
But not all local unions are in favor of such exemptions. The ordinance passed by the city council in Seattle does not include a clause exempting union workers.

“At this point in our history, we have to be very careful to send the message that we stand up for all workers,” David Rolf, president of SEIU 775 in Seattle, told the Los Angeles Times. “A wage is a wage is a wage. It’s very hard to justify why you’d want any worker to make less than the minimum wage.”

The exemption does not automatically mean that all workers represented by unions will be paid less than $15 an hour. It does mean that companies with unionized workforce can attempt to negotiate contracts with hourly wages lower than $15 an hour even after such wage goes into effect.

“Fifteen dollars an hour and a union is a nice marketing slogan, but unions don’t actually care about the employees they seek to represent,” Matt Haller, senior vice-president of communications and public affairs at the International Franchise Association, told the Guardian. “They only care about getting more union members, generating initiation fees and growing their political stranglehold over politicians. If they cared about the employees, they would refute the tactics and endorse a $15 wage irrespective of whether they are exempt or not.”

The unions argue that this exemption would give them more leeway at the bargaining table when negotiating contracts with employers and could result in better benefits for the workers.

The US Chamber of Commerce released a report at the end of last year describing these exemptions as “escape clause”.

“This ‘escape clause’ is often designed to encourage unionization by making a labor union the potential ‘low-cost’ alternative to new wage mandates, and it raises serious questions about whom these minimum wage laws are actually intended to benefit,” read the report.

Members of the Fight for $15 movement, which is supported in large part by US unions, have on multiple occasions stated that they are fighting for $15 minimum wage as well as the right to unionize. With such an exemption, being in a union might not guarantee $15 an hour even if that is the legal minimum wage.

Fight for $15 swells into largest protest by low-wage workers in US history
Read more
Kendall Fells, organizing director of the Fight for $15, told the Guardian that the movement supports $15 an hour as a minimum wage for “all workers – in LA and everywhere – and don’t support anything that could undermine that”.

US unions have invested heavily in the Fight for $15 movement – in terms of manpower, time and resources. A press release issued by the International Franchise Association earlier this year claimed that SEIU spent $18.5m in 2014 on the Fight for $15 campaign. An analysis by the anti-union non-profit group the Center for Union Facts found that SEIU had paid $1.3m to Berlin Rosen, a public relations consultants firm handling press for the Fight for $15 protests, up from $848,000 in 2013 and $393,000 in 2012.

When speaking with the Guardian on 15 April, Mary Kay Henry, international president of the SEIU, said that the Fight for $15 campaign was worth the investment.

“There is not a price tag you can put on how this movement has changed the conversation in this country. It is raising wages at the bargaining table. It’s raised wages for eight million workers,” she said. “I believe we are forcing a real conversation about how to solve the grossest inequality in our generation.”

SEIU national office did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment in time for publication.

Even if SEIU is not actively lobbying for such an exemption to be part of the law, once in place, the workers it represents will be subject to them.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that unions already have the exemption in place in San Francisco. Makes you wonder about their motivation...I guess they think if the minimum wage increases, they can negotiate a higher wage for union workers, but if this back fires, I can see some members leaving for the minimum wage jobs.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helps Unions get recognition if they can offer reduced wage costs.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard someone say that with reduced wages there would be more union jobs. Thought about that and it seemed to imply that if you were to force a business to pay higher wages there would be fewer jobs. So the union shops have more lower wage jobs, who does that benefit? Most of the statements sound like pretzel logic to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More union jobs, more union members more union dues less wage cost for employers.

All good.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, more lower wage jobs doesn't sound like a win win for employees. And if the "living wage" that the union lobbied for is so critical to survive, how are the union workers gonna cut making less? The union dues that they pay aren't going to make the employees rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Unions have a monopoly on jobs for sub minimum wage workers, they ave to be in the Union to work these jobs.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×