A simple Facebook comment exploded into a big reveal on the hypocrisy of some groups spearheading the fight for a $15 minimum wage.
“It was a paid advertisement that came through on social media,” Cody McLaughlin told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I thought it was funny so I posted a comment.”
The advertisement was for a job opening at the advocacy group Working America. The group was looking to hire field managers to launch a grassroots effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. For his own amusement, McLaughlin asking if it paid $15 an hour.
“Hi Cody! Our field organizing positions start at $12.25 per hour,” Working America replied. The group did note though, “After 90 days of employment the pay increases to $15 per hour.”
Not long after the comment began attracting attention which prompted the group to delete it which McLaughlin felt was when it crossed the line. Though his motivation was to be funny he notes he was open to a serious debate. To him, deleting the comment only served to hurt the dialogue.
“Then they deleted my comment,” he noted. “The reason I got into politics is because I want to hear both sides.”
“I think there are merits to each sides argument,” McLaughlin continued. “I commented mostly for my own amusement but I would be willing to debate it.”
McLaughlin, who works at a PR firm out of Portland, notes that the decision to delete the comment also just looks bad. After the comment was deleted, McLaughlin posted a screenshot to his own page.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage often argue that its more representative of “the living wage” which is the supposed basic standard in which someone can live comfortably. However a video released back in December shows that the $15 minimum wage may actually not be representative of anything. Kendall Fells, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organizer, during a union panel meeting discussed how the union arrived at the figure.
“That’s where people decided that $15 made sense, I would say it was a pretty scientific process, $10 was too low and $20 was too high, so we landed at 15,” Fells said.
Working America is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, one of the largest unions in the country. Unions have been at the forefront of pushing for a $15 minimum wage and worker groups like Working America have been utilized to help with that mission. Though there are many reasons to use worker groups some critics have argued they are actually being used to bypass labor law in order to more easily unionize workers.
Under current National Labor Relations Board rules, worker centers like Fight for 15 aren’t subject to many of the limitations unions face but they also cannot organize workers without filing a petition for an election.
Working America did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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