Monday, November 21, 2011

Trade unions say living wage bill will kill jobs

City Council to review legislation on Tuesday

Mayor Bloomberg says a hike in minimum wage would cripple small businesses
BY Reuven Blau

Three city trade unions are bucking their labor colleagues and trying to crush a bill that would bump the minimum wage at some companies to $10 an hour.

The unions representing private-sector carpenters, painters and masons are urging lawmakers to reject the controversial measure that they say will kill jobs.

“This legislation is short-sighted and will make it more difficult for New York City to attract new businesses and jobs,” said Jack Kittle, political director of District Council No. 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

The politically charged, so-called “living-wage” proposal would obligate companies that get city tax breaks to pay employees $10 an hour, plus benefits — up from the current $7.25 minimum hourly wage.

The city’s largest unions have strenuously backed the legislation.

The bill’s supporters include the powerful 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Worker union and the Working Families Party.

“The reality is that the vast majority of New Yorkers support the living wage bill and want the City Council to pass it,” said Dan Morris, a spokesman for the Living Wage NYC Coalition.

Mayor Bloomberg contends the boosted minimum wage would cripple small businesses.

“The last time people tried to set rates, basically, was in the Soviet Union. And that didn’t work out very well,” he said last month.

Still, the bill’s backers point to other big cities that have adopted similar measures, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Jose. A rally in support of the higher wage is set for Monday night at Riverside Church.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has ducked taking a position on the contentious issue for weeks.

A Council hearing set to review the bill is set for Tuesday.

That hearing may be as far the legislation goes: Quinn nixed a similarly controversial measure requiring paid sick leave after first allowing it to be debated at a hearing.



  2. Anymember NYC District CouncilNovember 23, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    This Bloomberg told everyone dont elect someone to mayor who will rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking titanic,well Bloomberg you are under water.No living wage from a liberal jew?I guess thats why nazis and jews dilike each other because theyre so alike.

  3. How the he'll are we as a union opposing other Americans getting better wages for themselves!!!

    They will only be making 10 fucking dollars!!!!!


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