Los Angeles labor unions demand exemption from minimum wage

los angeles minimum wage


Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them,” Hicks said in a statement. “This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing.”

A good thing, indeed.

The SEIU, in particular, has been particularly active in shaking down negotiating with employers and extorting political contributions from signing up new members in low wage occupations. In this battle, one sees that instead of fighting WalMart, the labor unions have finally decided to become them. Just like WalMart went along with Obamacare knowing that they could absorb the costs much more readily than most of their competitors, the labor unions went along with a minimum wage increase they knew would hurt tens of thousands of low wage earners just so they could unionize them. If this comes to pass, the men and women making less than $15/hour today will be able to keep their jobs if they join a union. But they will not only make less than $15/hour, they might very well make less than they make today. And they will be gouged for union dues.