Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
OpEdNews Op Eds

A PLAN to Fight Against the Stealth War on Workers' Wages

By       Message David Sirota     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 18
Become a Fan
  (9 fans)
- Advertisement -
The right-wing's stealth assault on workers' wages rages on in America at the state and local level. But every so often, we get a big victory. Today is one of those days, as the New Mexico Court of Appeals rejected Big Money's efforts to gut Santa Fe's living wage ordinance. The ruling has major national implications.

As attorney Paul Sonn, who defended the living wage ordinance, said "It 's one of the first appeals court rulings that addresses a local wage ordinance. It 's a sweeping confirmation that cities have the power to raise wages to protect local workers. It 's a real important ruling. It will be looked to across the country."

Remember, though, the fight to raise workers' wages always faces incredibly steep odds. New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the nation, and yet, even there corporate interests are willing to openly fight tooth and nail to stop any wage increases, whether it means going to court as with the Santa Fe example, or spending gobs of cash to defeat minimum wage ballot initiatives.

You may recall, corporate interests narrowly defeated Albuquerque city councilman Martin Heinrich's (D) effort to raise the minimum wage in his city a few months ago. National right-wing outfits like the so-called "Employment Policies Institute" (which is funded by corporate interests) got heavily involved, spreading all sorts of lies and half-truths in an effort to hide the clearly positive effects of living/minimum wage laws have on local economies.

- Advertisement -
Much of the war being waged in the states to keep wages down is being guided by national organizations like the Employment Policies Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Just look at ALEC's model bills - they are openly pushing a series of "Wage Repeal Acts." These bills essentially use state legislatures to invalidate or prohibit county or municipal governments' already-passed minimum/living wage laws. And they are quite successful. Just look at how the Georgia's right-wing governor actually preempted Atlanta officials' efforts to raise wages in their city.

This is exactly the kind of right-wing nonsense the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) is going to fight. It is why PLAN was created in the first place - to support those state legislators who are going to fight against all of the corrupt, bought-off public policies that are bleeding working people dry. With the money-drenched politicians in Washington, D.C. still refusing to support a federal minimum wage increase, it is time to take our battle to the states. Today's court ruling - along with the courageous efforts of some other states - should give us hope that at the state and local level we can prevail.

Sources:
New Mexico Court of Appeals rejects effort to terminate Santa Fe's living wage:
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/35674.html
Corporate interests narrowly defeat Albuquerque's minimum wage referendum:
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/33271.html
The "Employment Policies Institute" is a corporate-backed front group:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=employment_policies_institute
"Employment Policies Institute" spreads lies/half-truths about wages:
http://www.epionline.org/study_detail.cfm?sid=90
The clearly positive economic impact of minimum/living wage laws:
http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/393734opinion09-28-05.htm
ALEC's model bills:
http://www.alec.org/6/commerce-insurance-economic-development.html
Georgia's governor preempts Atlanta's living wage efforts:
http://www.davidsirota.com/2005/05/gop-actually-prohibits-better-wages.html
The Progressive Legislative Action Network:
http://www.progressivestates.org/
Courageous efforts of other states on wages:
http://thinkprogress.org/2005/05/31/states-lead-on-minimum-wage/
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Tax the Corporations and the Rich or Take Draconian Cuts -- the Decision Is Ours

Bush Used the IRS, FBI, CIA and Secret Service to Go After Opponents -- Where Was the Fox and GOP Outrage?

GOP: Recession's Foreclosure Victims "Want a Homeless Life"

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Gives Corporations Special Legal Rights

Busting myths that FDR prolonged Great Depression