Evidence Is In on San Francisco’s Higher Wages – They Help the Economy

For those who need more evidence, a new book hopes to persuade them. When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level argues that San Francisco’s decision to increase the minimum wage and offer other benefits, such as sick leave pay, hasn’t hurt the city’s economy at all. The three editors—all labor experts—found that from 2004 to 2011 overall private employment grew 5.6 percent in San Francisco and 3 percent in Santa Clara County. Other Bay Area counties saw an overall 4.4 percent drop during that time. Among food-service workers, who are more likely to be affected by minimum-wage laws, employment grew 17.7 percent in San Francisco, faster than either of the other Bay Area counties.


San Francisco Labor Council Pushes for $15 Minimum Wage in the City

Resolution in Support of a $15 Minimum Wage in San Francisco

Whereas, inequalities continue to grow with the top 1% now taking 95 percent of all new income (whereas in the Bush era they took 65 percent and in the Clinton era they took 45 percent); and

Whereas, the cost of living in San Francisco is one of the highest in the nation; and

Whereas, the San Francisco minimum wage of $10.74, which takes effect in January, 2014, is insufficient for a family to attain a decent standard of living in a city as expensive as San Francisco; and

Whereas, in California the lowest-income families pay the highest rate of state and local taxes while the richest 1 percent pay the lowest rate (California Budget Project); and

Whereas, the unions in the Seattle area recently campaigned for a ballot initiative mandating a $15 per hour minimum wage in a community outside Seattle, and the voters passed the proposition; and

Whereas, according to The New York Times, these unions view their success “as a potential model for raising wages and mobilizing workers in other parts of the country;” and

Whereas, the AFL-CIO has referred to the SeaTac action as a “victory” and reported approvingly that, “Now working family activists in Washington State are hoping to ride the success of the SeaTac vote to Seattle and they’ve found support from the mayor and the majority of City Council members”;

Therefore be it Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council go on record in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage in San Francisco; and

Be it Further Resolved the San Francisco Labor Council will oppose any minimum wage law that includes “tip credit”; and

Be it Further Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council encourage its member unions to pass in their locals resolutions supporting a $15 per hour minimum wage in San Francisco; and

Be it Finally resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council help organize a broad-based coalition of unions and community allies to spearhead a campaign to bring the $15 minimum wage to San Francisco.

Submitted by Ann Robertson, CFA; Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3; Allan Fisher, AFT 2121; Rodger Scott, AFT 2121; Linda Ray, SEIU 1021; Kathy Setian, IFPTE 20; Carl Finamore, IAM Local 1781; Tom Lacey, OPEIU 3; and Francesca Rosa, SEIU 1021 and adopted unanimously by the San Francisco Labor Council on January 13,. 2014. Respectfully, Tim Paulson Executive Director OPEIU 3 AFL-CIO 11


Fast Food Workers Strike in National Action for Economic Justice – Aug. 29, 2013

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/p2w2NH-oo

New York City, via gothamist.com http://gothamist.com/2013/08/29/fast_food_workers_walk_out_to_fight.php 🙂

“Fast food workers are walking out on their jobs today to once again protest low wages, demand the right to unionize and fight for better working conditions. The strikes are occurring in 50 cities including New York City, where there are multiple walk-outs plus a rally planned.

The first walkout was at the McDonald’s at 341 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was there, as was City Council Member and Public Advocate hopeful Letitia James. James invoked Martin Luther King Jr., quoting the civil rights leader, “It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.””

Chicago Tribune:


“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fast-food workers staged strikes at McDonald’s and Burger Kings and demonstrated at other stores in sixty U.S. cities on Thursday in their latest action in a nearly year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector.

The strikes spread quickly across the country and have shut down restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle, according to organizers.”

LA Times:   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fast-food-protests-hit-los-angeles-thursday-20130829,0,7294893.story

Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/29/fast-food-protest-chicago_n_3837419.html

the Guardian UK: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/29/fast-food-workers-low-pay-nationwide-walkout

KTVU San Francisco: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/fast-food-strike/nZf4X/

NBC 5 Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas:  http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Fast-Food-Workers-Join-Nationwide-Strike-221626461.html

Flint, Michigan:  http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/08/minimum_wage_protesters_in_fli.html

Peter Dreier, Raising the Minimum Wage is Good for Business

“Cities, too, have enacted laws raising pay for low-wage workers. In 2003, Santa Fe, New Mexico adopted a citywide $8.50 an hour living-wage law with regular cost-of-living increases. At the time, Sam Goldenberg, a business leader, predicted that the law “would be a disaster for the businesses in Santa Fe.” And restaurateur Al Lucero called the plan economically irresponsible and argued that “people will be so content with $8.50 or $10.50 an hour that they’ll have no desire to improve themselves.”

Nearly 10 years later, the rate is now $10.29 an hour, and Santa Fe has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 5.1 percent. Jeff Mitchell, a senior research scientist at the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, found “no evidence of adverse effects” from the wage hike. Santa Fe’s tourism industry is doing fine. Travel + Leisure magazine last year listed Santa Fe in its top 10 U.S. and Canadian travel destinations for the 11th consecutive year.

In 2003, San Francisco voters also adopted a citywide minimum-wage law. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association called it a job killer that would “bankrupt many restaurants.” The Association of Realtors said that many hospitality industry workers were “likely to receive pink slips and join the ranks of the unemployed.”

Wrong again. A 2007 study by University of California economists found that after San Francisco’s minimum wage went up, restaurant growth was higher in the city than in neighboring East Bay cities. In December 2012, the city’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, well below the statewide average, and job growth in bars and restaurants has led the region’s post-recession recovery.

In November, voters in Albuquerque and San Jose passed ballot measures that will raise the minimum wage for workers in those cities. Albuquerque’s citywide minimum wage rose from $7.50 to $8.50 per hour last month and will automatically adjust in future years with inflation. In San Jose, the minimum wage will increase from $8 per hour — the current minimum wage in California — to $10 per hour starting next month and will adjust automatically in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living.”

-Peter Dreier, Raising the Minimum Wage is Good for Business