Labor unions are gearing up to spend millions in support of a proposal from New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise the state minimum wage to $15, according to reports Monday.
Cuomo first announced Sept. 10 his plan for raising the state minimum wage. If enacted, the increase will gradually put New York City to the $15 mark by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The problem is, the proposal still needs approval from the legislature and the majority of state residents don’t support it. This is where unions are hoping to use their political influence to help.
“The major unions have signaled they’re going to be aggressively behind this effort not only because of what it means for New York, but also what it means nationally,” one key Democratic activist involved in the effort told the New York Daily News. “This is literally the thing that every progressive cares about achieving on their respective agendas.”
Unions already play a major role in the $15 minimum wage movement. The main group behind the push, Fight for $15, is highly influenced and funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It has utilized media marketing campaigns and rallies in its efforts.
The Hotel Motel Trades Council, teacher unions and the union-backed Working Families Party are also reported to soon be involved. Additionally, local 1000 of the AFL-CIO and AFSCME has been speaking out in support of the plan.
Fight for $15 and its union-backers have come under fire though. Worker Center Watch (WCW) has accused the SEIU of using the Fight for $15 protests as a way of bypassing labor laws to more easily unionize fast food workers. According to a report from the Center for Union Facts, a minimum wage increase would benefit the SEIU directly while hurting non-unionized competitors.
Additionally, unions often seek exemptions from the very minimum wage laws they support. According to the report, “Labor’s Minimum Wage Exemption,” which was released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in December, this is to encourage unionization by making membership a low cost alternative for employers.
At the moment, the $15 minimum wage has only been passed on the city level. Seattle led the way in implementing it back in June 2014. San Francisco and Los Angeles followed not long after. Though some are considering it, no state has gone that high.
Not everyone, however, is in agreement increasing the minimum wage would even help the people it’s supposed to. Though supporters often it will help the poor by allowing them to more easily afford basic necessities, critics say it may actually hurt them by limiting job opportunities.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com.