However, behind their humanitarian-sounding living wage campaigns is a heinous plot that puts workers into unions, but betrays them by affording unionized employers the ability to pay less than the unions’ so-called living wage.
Although the defnition of a living wage has always been rather subjective (e.g., “A living wage is a decent wage.”), unions like the Service Employees International Union and the hotel workers’ union (UNITE-HERE) are using living wage campaigns as hammers to increase unionization of entire classes of workers in specific geographic areas.
The scheme is really as diabolical as it is simple: Once unions have, through collusion with elected offcials, gotten a living wage ordinance passed, unions can offer employers the ability to pay lower wages with the union.
In Los Angeles, the latest city to enact a living wage ordinance (for hotel workers, in this case), the Wall Street Journal reports:
Los Angeles became the latest to join the movement when the city council approved a law on Sept. 24 requiring large hotels to pay employees at least $15.37 per hour and provide generous paid sick-leave benefits. But the ordinance includes a provision, increasingly common in similar ordinances, that permits unions to waive the requirements in collective bargaining.
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. [Emphasis added.]
Earlier this year in Milwaukee, the SEIU colluded with County Supervisor David Bowen to write a living wage ordinance for government contractors that excluded companies with union contracts–giving unionized employers the ability to pay less than a “living wage.”
Last year, in SeaTac, Washington, unions—including the SEIU, Teamsters and UNITE-HERE—also undermined workers when they campaigned and won a ballot initiative requiring non-union companies to hike their wages, while giving unionized companies an exemption that allows workers to be paid less than what is required under the new living wage.
In the Waivers section of the proposed ordinance, available on the City of SeaTac website, Proposition 1 gives employers a break from the minimum wage, the paid sick days and other employee protections – as long as the business is unionized. [Emphasis added.]
As unions are failing to reverse their decades-long decline through traditional recruitment, regardless of the negative consequences on workers, by putting unionization above the workers’ interests, unions are using living wage campaigns as another weapon in their arsenal.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)