Madison Fair Wage Campaign

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Will you sign the petition to institute a city minimum wage of 7.75/hr?

Poll ended at Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:46 pm

Workers of the world unite! YES, I'll sign it.
31
72%
Let them eat cake. NO, I'd rather yank Austin's hair.
12
28%
 
Total votes: 43

Shifty
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Madison Fair Wage Campaign

Postby Shifty » Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:46 pm

First Doyle offers to lift minimum wage workers UP to poverty.

Now King, Powell, and Joe Lindstrom are suggesting that we lift them past poverty in the city of Madison.

What's not to like?

Less stress on city services, more money to the working poor, economic stimulus.

Will you sign the petition?







WiSJ:
Minimum wage in Madison would be $7.75/hour
9:59 PM 9/20/03
Dean Mosiman and Judy Newman Wisconsin State Journal


Madison could soon become the first city in the Midwest to set its own minimum wage.

Nearly everyone who works within city limits would have to be paid at least $7.75 an hour if a proposed referendum is successful.

But the change, which would put Madison in the company of only a handful of cities nationally, won't come easy. The referendum is likely to mean a fierce political and legal battle.

The "Madison Fair Wage Campaign," quietly forged in recent months by Ald. Austin King, former Ald. Tom Powell and activist Joe Lindstrom, is starting a petition drive Monday to collect about 12,800 signatures needed to put the proposal before voters on Feb. 17, which coincides with the Democratic presidential primary.

The coalition has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Monday at the City-County Building.

The proposed $7.75 minimum wage, 50 percent higher than the federal minimum wage of $5.15 and 14 percent higher than the $6.80 state minimum wage called for by Gov. Jim Doyle, is specifically tied to the high cost of living in Madison, Powell and the others said.

Even Doyle's proposal would only raise earnings to the federal poverty level for a family of two to three people.

"Are we content in Madison to say our minimum standard is abject poverty," Powell said.


http://www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejo ... /57224.php

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Postby JCPHWC » Mon Sep 22, 2003 7:07 am

I will pay a living wage when what I get for that money is a worker who actually wants to work to advance the mission of my establishment.

For every time I need to adjust my business schedule to accomodate your classes, your exams, your vacations, your homework, your personal phone calls, your hangovers and your friends hanging around, I will deduct from your hourly rate.

Treat your part-time job as only that, and the prevailing wages in Madison are just fine.

Treat your part-time job as adding value to the establishment, and you will get more.

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Postby pulseCzar » Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:49 am

JCPHWC wrote:I will pay a living wage when what I get for that money is a worker who actually wants to work to advance the mission of my establishment.

For every time I need to adjust my business schedule to accomodate your classes, your exams, your vacations, your homework, your personal phone calls, your hangovers and your friends hanging around, I will deduct from your hourly rate.

Treat your part-time job as only that, and the prevailing wages in Madison are just fine.

Treat your part-time job as adding value to the establishment, and you will get more.


Oh you poor thing! It must be awful to be forced to employ people with lives. Whatever are they thinking to not drop everything for the honor of working for you? Who needs college, friends, family??? If only they would just drop all this other nonsense in their lives then they wouldn't NEED a wage increase. Then everything would be focused on the mission statement of your business, as it should be. :roll:

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Postby JCPHWC » Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:17 am

Exactly!

And in order to accomodate all of those off the job factors, we small businees owners must make changes in hours, shifts, expectations, and pay rates. Not to mention the training aspect that goes on when hiring people for their first jobs...when you are ready to work full time, we'll talk higher wages and benefits.

Go ahead and push for the higher starting wage----as long as you plan on shopping at Walmart since your costs will go up at the independent stores.

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Postby Minty Fresh » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:21 pm

JCPHWC wrote:Go ahead and push for the higher starting wage----as long as you plan on shopping at Walmart since your costs will go up at the independent stores.
Are you under the misimpression that Wal-Marts in Madison would somehow be exempt from the law?

More succinctly, could YOU live on $5.15/hr in Madison?? And since the answer's obviously "no," why do you imagine other people could?

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Postby True Blue » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:51 pm

Unfortunately, the complete lack of good jobs policies at the state and federal levels means that municipal action is required. So, yes, I think I'll vote for the wage.

However, I am sympathetic to the purported small business owner who posted here. The attitude and service from the youth these days is just terrible. Usually, I feel like I'm serving them! And, yes, an employer has every right to expect a worker will work toward the goals of the establishment.

But, that's a separate issue, and there are breadwinners trying to make it at min wage. $5.15 an hour is simply exploitation.

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Postby Shifty » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:02 pm

The burden may be heavier on smaller businesses, but it's time for a reality check, J.

The increase simply does not represent an increased burden when looked at historically.

If you've paid minimum wage for twenty years or so, then you know that your employment costs have gone down when indexed for inflation.

Your workers have been subsidizing your profit margin. If paying a livable wage means that your profit disappears, yes, it's probably time to think about starting a different sort of business. Given the modesty of the increase, however, I doubt that will be true for most businesses.

And the vast majority of businesses, large and small, already pay above minimum.

Your criticisms of your worker's personal lives seem rather beside the point. They probably don't appreciate the way you spend the time and money they have earned for you either.

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Postby jjoyce » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:20 pm

I change my mind on the minimum wage issue monthly... to me, regardless of how much you pay minimum wage workers, there will always be minimum wage workers. The big problem is that the number of minimum wage workers has increased. Will raising their pay help elevate them out of MW positions? I'm not sure.

This is maybe the only issue where I really think there's merit to that old Republican saw about teaching a man to fish and he'll eat forever. Do more to make education accessible, make healthcare and child care affordable, improve mass transit efficiency.

Certainly the chains can afford a higher MW than small businesses. And small businesses are much better training and proving grounds for disenfranchised people. Small businesses willing to hire tech students ought to qualify for subsidies or breaks and tech students willing to work for small businesses ought to qualify for tuition breaks. Initiatives like that are, to me, pro-business AND socially progressive at the same time.

Unfortunately, philosophy has been abandoned by our political leaders who are constantly in search of quick-fix solutions. Raising the minimum wage qualifies as quick fix, I think. But the pro-business conservatives who talk the talk about "teaching a man to fish" almost never actually do anything about the teaching.

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Postby JCPHWC » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:46 pm

I am saying that there is one reason and one reason only that Walmart survives--that being that people shop there for "Always Low Price-Always"

If you all are saying that you will pay higher prices at my shop because I pay my part-time-first-time-entry -level-high school and college workers a truly living wage, then sign me up!

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Postby auntgoodness » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:58 pm

Just a couple thoughts... Maybe if you paid a living wage to your employees, they'd work harder because you showed them a little respect. If you feel their time and energy is worth less than the hourly wage it takes to pay for rent and food, why should they give their all for your business?

Looking for less turn-over? Pay for it.

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Postby Donald » Mon Sep 22, 2003 4:38 pm

I'll sign the petition, but the city council/voters should not pass it in its present form. I would like to see a bit more flexibility--some opt outs for employers who provide employees with health insurance, etc.

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No

Postby cristobal » Mon Sep 22, 2003 5:04 pm

I would sign a Dane County-wide (or why not state-wide?) minimum wage but not just Madison

My reasoning is that there probably are industries/businesses that locate in Madison that would be happy to move 2 miles down to Sprawlsburg and pay $5.15/hour. That's a significant savings and all it costs is more time of your workers to ride the bus or drive.

The result could then be that: a) Madison loses more businesses/tax base to Sprawlsburg; b) Workers now can't get to work on a bus so they have no job; c) Sprawlsburg gets bigger and uglier.

- Cristobal

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Postby Shifty » Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:09 am

PnutGallery wrote:jeff, i know you work hard and pay your employees well, and i totally understand your point-- most of the 'insider' folks on this forum are just asses-- write em off as idiots and move on.


Well looks like you're the insider, Pnut. All that us asses and idiots can use to judge "Jeff" are his own words. He says that he doesn't want to pay his workers a living wage and begrudges accomodating their education schedules. He sure sounds like just another employer looking to trap a cheap labor source.

I'm glad to hear that in reality he pays his employees "well." How well?

And what does Jeff pay himself, and what's his profit?

He wants his employees to "add value" to his business, but what's their incentive to do so?

Is he providing health insurance?

Inquiring idiots and asses want to know!

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Postby Shifty » Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:40 am

jjoyce wrote:I change my mind on the minimum wage issue monthly... to me, regardless of how much you pay minimum wage workers, there will always be minimum wage workers. The big problem is that the number of minimum wage workers has increased. Will raising their pay help elevate them out of MW positions? I'm not sure.


I'm trying to follow this logic. There will always be minimum wage workers. Therefore you're questioning whether the minimum wage should be raised? How does that make sense?

Will raising the minimum help the workers? Damn right! For some it means putting more or better food on the table, affording enough gas to go to interviews or pay for childcare or buy health insurance. Yes, some folks will work at minimum wage their entire lives. And in a globalized economy increasingly hostile to worker security and compensation, increasing numbers of people will work at bottom level jobs at some point in their lives. How would paying those workers below a livable wage help them?

For other individuals, raising the minimum means less student loans or even being able to afford more education at all.

The buying power of the minimum wage has fallen in real terms for decades. And of course the cost of education has inflated many times more than other iving costs.

Otherwise, what you are saying here sounds like a good approach. But, I just don't see how paying people a living wage contradicts increasing their employment opportunities. It increases their opportunities.

And I suspect that increased opportunity is what bothers low-wage employers more than the initial increase in labor costs.


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