Tags: Democrats | Freedom Foundation | Labor Unions | Minimum Wage

'Living Wage' Breathes Life Into Unions

By Tuesday, 07 October 2014 02:51 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Politics is a cynical business, but occasionally even I’m taken aback by a particularly breathtaking example. Democrats in Los Angeles, Seattle and other hotbeds of market interference have recently been passing what are called "living wage" ordinances that drastically increase the minimum wage.

In Los Angeles the increase boosted the minimum wage to $15.37 per hour.

I outline the real world effect on prices and jobs here.

You may ask, what’s wrong with people making more money?

Aside from the fact that politicians have no business determining the wage scale in the market and these laws actually cost jobs and increase unemployment — there is another big problem: living wage laws are just a payoff to unions for their support and contributions to Democrat politicians.

As Maxford Nelsen of the Freedom Foundation points out, many of these benevolent laws have a hidden back door that lets unions use the power of the political class to help them organize non–union employers. The provision of the law the Democrats don’t talk about is a waiver that lets unions essentially ignore the living wage law.

“This waiver enables labor organizers to approach a nonunion employer struggling to pay the new minimum with the following offer: assist them in unionizing employees by signing a neutrality agreement, in return for which the union will use the collective bargaining waiver to allow the employer to pay less than the new statutory minimum,” Nelsen says. 

In addition to setting wage rates by fiat, these laws often contain mandatory sick–leave provisions so employees won’t be penalized for being sick or injured. Except that Nelsen writes of the survey in Seattle, Wash. finding 37 out of 56 unions there had waived the city’s new paid sick–leave regulations, so the newly unionized employees are no better off than before the passage of the law.

These laws let Democrat-elected officials look like friends of the working man, while the union uses the law as a hammer to get employers to unionize — regardless of the feelings of the employees — and in return the union signs a contract that allows the employer to dodge some of the requirements of the new law.

And yes, the dues collected from the newly unionized workers go into the union political action fund that finances Democrats' re–election campaigns.

Government helps unions stay alive at the expense of workers, employers and consumers.

Which means living wage is just another union racket, except this time Democrats are in on the deal.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.


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These laws let Democrat-elected officials look like friends of the working man, while the union uses the law as a hammer to get employers to unionize.
Democrats, Freedom Foundation, Labor Unions, Minimum Wage
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 02:51 PM
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