When the Democrats officially adopted support for a $15 federal minimum wage as a plank in their 2016 platform, Bernie Sanders and his supporters claimed victory in their quest for a nationwide $15 minimum wage. After all, Hillary preferred a $12 federal minimum wage. The Bernie Supporters said the $15 plank marked a substantial change toward more “progressive,” code for even more Liberal, politics. In reality, it was just the same old Democrat-pandering to its core constituency – unions.
On the surface, unions have been some of the staunchest supporters of the $15 minimum wage, citing an unfair workforce and growing income inequality. SEIU is even funding the Fight for $15. But when push comes to shove, unions have consistently asked for waivers to the minimum wage. Just look at the switch that Los Angeles unions pulled:
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.
And it’s not just Los Angeles. Successful campaigns in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington have all increased the minimum wage but provided unions an exemption.
One group isn’t giving the Democrats a pass. The Workforce Fairness Institute is airing ads targeted at mobile devices and even in taxis to point out union hypocrisy, according to the Wall Street Journal:
But this week in Philadelphia, Democratic delegates and other convention-goers will get a series of stark reminders that the union organizers who have been among the loudest advocates for a $15-per-hour wage floor have also sought carve-outs to allow companies to pay their own members less if they hire union workers, giving unions a key bargaining chip.
If Bernie voters realize they’ve been lied to by the DNC again, The Democrats’ disunity could get worse.
You can watch one of the Workforce Fairness Institute’s ads below: