LA labor unions bite the hands filling their pockets

June 2, 2015

by Nick Novak

Originally published by The Washington Times.

“Without a doubt, it was a very big victory,” Maria Elena Durazo, a vice president at the hotel and restaurant union Unite Here, said last week of the Los Angeles City Council’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

Was it a victory for the workers of Los Angeles, or was it a victory for the labor unions?

Shortly after the city council agreed to draft an ordinance raising the city’s minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour over the next five years, the unions started lobbying for an amendment to exempt companies that employ unionized workers.

So just days after the proposal they fought so hard for passed its initial hurdle, the unions wanted to make sure they could get a few more dollars in their pockets. Workers who thought the unions had their back must have been shocked because if the unions got their way, the biggest losers would be the workers.

Businesses could continue to pay wages similar to what they do now – meaning very little impact on their bottom line (just the additional hassle of dealing with the union). Unions would suddenly get an influx of new members – each of them paying required monthly dues. And the workers would likely get the same wage they make now but would have to fork over a chunk of each paycheck to the union.

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