5 Days Left to Sign! Every Signature Counts!

If you have not signed yet but think this is worthy of a vote, please contact us at info@fairwages.org or 707-442-7465 and we will do our best to get your signature.  EVERY SIGNATURE COUNTS!  The Eureka Fair Wage Act is a People’s Initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12.00 an hour for large employers in the city of Eureka.
If you can volunteer in some way or assist in some way in this final week of the signature drive please contact us.  Assuming that we make the ballot we will have several more months of intense campaigning ahead of us.  WE COULD USE YOUR SUPPORT.
]Thank you!
~please forward to Eureka voters!~

The Tiered Minimum Wage in Theory and Practice

The theory behind the tiered minimum wage (and here we refer to a two tiered minimum wage, increased only for larger employers, not for smaller employers) is clear. Many recent studies have shown that the majority of minimum wage workers work for very large businesses with adequate financial resources to pay a high minimum wage of $12.00 to $15.00 an hour. We are in an era of extraordinarily high corporate profits, and it coincides with an era when workers are getting the smallest percentage in wages of the value of the product of their labor in a half century. We call the large employers the formal economy.

Smaller businesses, that we call the informal economy, are family & friends businesses for the most part. When we talk about raising the minimum wage it is important to remember that it is not only small business owners who resist raising the minimum wage, but it is often employees of these small businesses who also oppose us. Both of them are fearful of business failure and loss of employment. This is the practice part. It is our experience that this fear cannot be overcome. Thus we in the minimum wage movement must honor this informal economy (both the business people and the employees) and give exemption to smaller businesses in minimum wage laws and ordinances. Yes it is a compromise, but there are a certain number of people who want and enjoy flexibility in their work arrangements and alternative wage arrangements and find them in the informal small business context.  This is a historic compromise between the idea of government regulation of business and deregulation.  In this case, large businesses are regulated, while small businesses are deregulated.

With this understanding we then need to ask “What is a small business?” When we started our dialog here in Eureka at the beginning of the Eureka Fair Wage Act campaign our initial figure was 100 employees. Through discussion with fellow activists and other community groups including organised labor our figure was soon reduced to 25 employees. It seemed to stick there. And now that we are out in the community it is a figure that seems to raise very little controversy. The number 25 employees or more seems to resonate with the public as a reasonable distinction between a small business and a large business.

So if there is a sweet spot, a Goldilocks number, a magic number for two tiered minimum wage proposals, it is likely somewhere between 20 and 50. It is interesting that Santa Fe New Mexico,  with its increased minimum wage, has an exemption for less than 25 employees as well. We arrived at that same number through independent means.

It has been very easy to get signatures in support of the two-tiered minimum wage.  We are  almost certain we will make the ballot  with it.  By going to a two-tier minimum wage we have assuaged a good portion of the concern from the small business community.  Indeed, many of them start to see higher wages for large enterprises as a benefit for smaller local businesses.  This is a wedge issue, but it is the people’s wedge issue.




link here: http://urlet.com/treat.brains or


Q. WalMart will just pass this cost along to us, won’t they? Won’t they just raise their prices?

A. No, this is a myth. A study last year showed that even if Walmart applied a $12 an hour minimum wage to all of its hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide, and passed along 100% of the cost to its customers, that the price rise would be insignificant.


Q. If a $12.00 an hour minimum wage is so good for the economy, why don’t we just make it $50.00 an hour?

A. First of all, we are not asking for $50.00 an hour, your question is a red herring. Secondly, what we say, and what the research has proved, is that a modest rise in the minimum wage produces a modest gain in the local economy, regardless of the minimum wage in surrounding regions.

Q. Won’t Walmart just lay off a few employees to pay for this? People will lose their jobs.

A. No. Walmart prides itself on being a lean, low-cost operation. They are already running at minimum staff levels. They are already understaffing, underpaying and overworking their employees.

Q. Won’t this just drive the larger employers out of Eureka?

A. No. Eureka is the economic, political and population center of Humboldt County and the surrounding region. Thousands of workers commute into Eureka every working day. But if this unlikely effect starts to occur we will work to extend this minimum wage protection to all the workers of Humboldt County.

Q. How would this benefit local small businesses?

A. Local businesses with 25 employees or fewer will be exempt from this ordinance. On the other hand a significant portion of their customers will have a few thousand dollars more to spend locally every year.

Q. Isn’t this just more welfare?

A. No. The benefits of a higher minimum wage go to people who are workers, obviously.

Q. How do higher, fairer wages benefit the local community?

A. Higher wages paid to local workers circulate locally and grow the local economy.  It is money that is not airlifted to Bentonville, Arkansas (and sucked out of our local economy forever) or spent on a multi-million dollar CEO salary somewhere else.

Q. How much cash would flow to the local economy under this ordinance?

A. If there are 1,000 local employees covered under this ordinance, then we estimate there will be at least $2.5 million annually pumped into the local economy through higher, fairer wages, and the multiplier effect will amplify the gain.

Q. Wouldn’t $12.00 an hour be the highest minimum wage in the United States?

A. Yes, but the Eureka Fair Wage Act will only apply to large businesses with the resources to support it. Minimum wage laws in other localities apply generally to all employers large and small or only to employers with government contracts. We think our approach makes more sense both socially and economically and more closely fits our common local Humboldt ethos.

Q. Don’t minimum wage laws result in higher unemployment? Employers will fire employees to cover the cost of paying higher wages, won’t they? Isn’t that an ironclad law of economics?

A. No. Human history is clear that periods of high employment coincide with periods of high wages. This was true 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago, as far back as civilization began.  In the United States, workers real wages as a percentage of GDP are at a 70 year low, while real unemployment and corporate profits are at 70 year highs. The fact that there are millions of people seeking work and there are not enough jobs for them is a fault in the predatory capitalist economy that is unrelated to wages.


If you have not signed yet but think this is worthy of a vote, please contact us at info@fairwages.org or 707-442-7465 and we will do our best to get your signature.  EVERY SIGNATURE COUNTS!  The Eureka Fair Wage Act is a People’s Initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12.00 an hour for large employers in the city of Eureka.
If you can volunteer in some way or assist in some way in this final week of the signature drive please contact us.  Assuming that we make the ballot we will have several more months of intense campaigning ahead of us.  WE COULD USE YOUR SUPPORT.
Thank you!
~please forward to Eureka voters!~

UPDATE     Attn:  Small Businesses in Eureka & Humboldt:  Wal-Mart Is Going to Crush You……

Ray’s Food Place to close in Crescent City

Written by Kyle Curtis January 16, 2013 10:48 am

The Ray’s Food Place grocery store in Crescent City is closing as of Feb. 3, the  store’s owners announced Wednesday. The decision was made “due to an increased presence of retail competitors and the continued decline in the economic climate,” parent company C&K Maket, Inc. said in a press release. http://www.triplicate.com/News/Breaking-News/Rays-Food-Place-to-close-in-Crescent-City


100,000 ADDITIONAL SQUARE FEET of retail space is equal to one hundred (100) 1,000 square foot “shoppes” in Old Town or fifty (50) 2,000 square foot “shoppes” in Old Town, Fortuna, Arcata, Cutten, or even twenty-five (25)  4,000 square foot “emporiums” in the Henderloin or anywhere else in Humboldt County.   These retail spaces will become redundant.  Surplus.  Vacant.

Or maybe you think we have too many shoppes and emporia in Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Garberville, and elsewhere in Humboldt County?

Get the Picture?


from The Tripllicate Crescent City

The wait’s nearly over. After more than a year of shifting store merchandise and non-stop construction, Walmart will begin inviting shoppers into its newly expanded store on Wednesday.  The expansion adds nearly 100,000 square feet to the Crescent City Walmart, said store manager Nick Gonnella. The new Walmart Supercenter will include a full grocery store with a deli and a bakery as well as produce, meat and dairy departments. The newly remodeled store will also include a hair salon, a Subway and a new Java Hut, Gonnella said.“We’re one of the largest expansions square footage-wise in all of California,” he said. “We started as a pretty small Walmart store and to grow by 100,000 square feet was no easy task.”


Contact the Eureka Fair Wage Act Campaign

Contact: James Decker (707) 442-7465



Do You Want To Sign the Eureka Fair Wage Act Petition or Register to Vote?

Do you want to hold Walmart & other large corporate employers accountable to the community by mandating a $12 minimum wage for large employers in the City of Eureka?

If you are a registered Eureka voter and want to sign the petition contact us:

If you are not a registered voter but reside in Eureka we can register you also!

Contact the Eureka Fair Wage Act Campaign

Contact the Eureka Fair Wage Act Campaign

Contact: James Decker (707) 442-7465



$12.00 an hour, 95501, eureka, eureka fair wage, Eureka Fair Wage Act, eureka fair wage inititative, fair wage, fairwages.org, humble county, humboldt county, living wage, minimum wage, minimum wage initiative, raise wages

Defending the Community



Get Involved, Your Skillset is Needed!

email:  info@fairwages.org


Minimum Wage Factoids

62% of all Minimum Wage Workers are Women

“In 2011 more than 62 percent of minimum-wage workers were women compared to just 38 percent of male minimum-wage workers. Slightly more than 2.5 million women earn the minimum wage or less, while approximately 1.5 million men do. This imbalance is even more drastic once you consider that women were just 46.9 percent of all employed workers in 2011.”


Raising the Minimum Wage Will Kill Small Business?

“And in 1995, Jack Farris, president of the National Federation of Independent Business claimed that President Clinton’s proposed 90 cents per hour minimum wage hike from $4.25 to $5.15 was “a regressive and job-killing scheme which will put a big dent in small-business hiring.” According to County Business Patterns data, employment in businesses with fewer than 20 employees grew by almost two million workers between 1995 and 2000. Oops. “


2 of 3 Minimum Wage Employees Work for Large Profitable Corporations:

Two out of three low wage workers are employed by large corporations with more than 100 employees:


Raising the Minimum Wage is a Job Booster,  Not a “Job Killer”

“A significant body of academic research has found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses even during hard economic times.


$12.00 An Hour Will Raise A Worker Out of Poverty

A $12.00 an hour wage, while not a “living wage,” will lift a worker working 34 hours a week  over the Federal poverty level for an individual in Humboldt County.


The Gasoline Index 1968-2012

In 1968 an hour’s pay at minimum wage ( $1.60) would buy almost 5 gallons of gasoline (@ $0.33/ gal.) but today in Eureka an hour’s minimum wage ($8.00) will buy a little less than 2 gallons of gasoline (@ $4.37 per gallon.)

If the minimum wage had been increased at the same rate as the price of gas, the minimum wage would be over $21.00 per hour today.


Today’s Minimum Wage Worker is $7,000 Poorer Than a 1968 Worker

At $7.25 an hour, today’s full-time minimum wage retail worker, security guard, child care worker or health aide makes just $15,080 a year. Last century’s 1968 minimum wage worker made $21,944 a year, adjusted for inflation.


Worker Productivity Grew, Worker’s Wages Shrank

Worker productivity grew 80 percent from 1973 to 2011. The average worker wage fell 7 percent, adjusted for inflation.


The Reduction of Minimum Wage Value Has Cratered the Middle Class

In 2010, our nation’s economy was growing, but most Americans didn’t feel it because 93 percent of the income growth went to the richest 1 percent. The bottom 90 percent of Americans got none. It sure wasn’t always like that. Between 1938, when the federal minimum wage was first enacted, and 1968, when it peaked in value, the bottom 90 percent of households shared 69 percent of the nation’s income growth. The middle class was able to grow.


California Has the Lowest Minimum Wage on the West Coast

California $8.00 Oregon $8.80 Washington $9.04 Nevada $8.25


Raising the Minimum Wage is Overwhelmingly Supported by the Public

This June, a Zogby Analytics survey of likely voters found seven out of 10 supporting a raise above $10 an hour (including 54 percent of Republicans). Notably, 71 percent of young people (18 to 23 years old) favored it. Likewise, last November’s “American Values Survey” by the Public Religion Research Institute showed two-thirds of Americans in favor of a $10-per-hour minimum.

Jim Hightower  http://www.nationalmemo.com/our-disgraceful-minimum-wage/

Defending the Community

$12.00 Minimum Wage for Large Employers



email: info@fairwages.org

Get Involved, Your Skillset is Needed!



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