What is the goal of unions? When the famed American Federation of Labor founder Samuel Gompers was asked that question, he simply replied “more.”
Just look at how liberals argue. They don’t know how much the government spends – just that it’s not enough, or know how much the rich pay in taxes – just that that amount too isn’t enough.
The latest push has been for a $15 minimum wage. Despite the insanity of it, fourteen cities and towns adopted $15 minimum wages in 2015, and California will be the first state to raise its minimum wage to that threshold.
As The Guardian reports, liberals are realizing they got more than they bargained for:
Los Angeles city council will hear a proposal on Tuesday to exempt union members from a $15 an hour minimum wage that the unions themselves have spent years fighting for.
The minimum wage is poised to increase to $15 an hour by 2020 in Los Angeles (while California’s will rise to that level by 2022). Walmart has already divested from the city ahead of the hikes taking effect. It’s funny that someone can deny raising the minimum wage costs jobs when just the anticipation of a higher minimum wage has been shown to cost jobs in this case.
Union leaders argue the amendment would give businesses and unions the freedom to negotiate better agreements, which might include lower wages but could make up the difference in other benefits such as healthcare. They argue that such exemptions might make businesses more open to unionization.
This is the second time unions have attempted to secure themselves an exemption from the minimum wage since the $15 ordinance was passed.
What’s the ploy here? I suspect the leaders in the Fight for Fifteen are arguing like a lawyer. Demand something outrageous ($15 an hour), and hopefully end up settling for something lower, but higher than what they began with (say, $11 an hour).
There’s no doubt unions are sincere in their calls for higher minimum wages – but they’re now realizing if it ends up putting people out of work, the union dues are going to dwindle.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]