Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cities Passing Higher Minimum Wage Are Exempting Unions From Requirement: Allowing Unions, But Not Non-Unionized Businesses, To Negotiate A Lower Starting Wage For New Members

From The Wall Street Journal, "More Minimum-Wage Backfires: Wal-Mart earnings dip, while unions win wage-law exemptions." in Opinion:
The campaign for higher minimum wages continues to inflict damage on business employees and owners. About the only ones not feeling the pain are the labor unions that back this movement. Meanwhile, in a growing number of U.S. jurisdictions, unions are succeeding in exempting themselves from the laws they seek to impose on everyone else.
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But don’t expect pity from the leaders of organized labor, who are busy making sure they don’t have to play by the rules they’re demanding for everyone else. Cities including Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco and San Jose have exempted union contracts from laws mandating higher minimum wages.

Union chiefs say the laws unduly limit their flexibility to negotiate labor contracts, which are governed by federal law. And perhaps they don’t care what the wage is so long as they can collect dues. Or maybe they want the ability to give higher wages to longtime union members while dictating lower pay for new members. Flexibility on wages could also be a useful tool to persuade management to accept a unionized workforce, with a demand for higher pay coming later. But why shouldn’t workers who choose not to join a union enjoy the same freedom?

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