Labor Unions have fought for, and won, a $15 minimum wage for everyone in many California… everyone except their own members!
“When Los Angeles City Council members voted two years ago to give hotel workers a raise, Bill Martinez was the type of worker they said they wanted to help.
“Martinez, a 53-year-old bellhop, has hauled tourists’ luggage across the flagstone plaza of the Sheraton Universal in Studio City for two decades. He said he was excited after the council’s vote to raise the minimum hourly wage at large hotels to $15.37, which he expected to boost his paycheck by 71%.
“He soon found out he wouldn’t be getting a raise after all. Under an obscure provision of the city’s wage hike, unionized hotels were granted an exemption allowing them to pay their employees less. The result is that Martinez, who pays $56.50 every month for membership in the hotel workers union Unite Here, now makes less than those doing the same job in non-union workplaces.”
But are labor unions supposed to work for their members?
“As the Times article admits, this is rather counterintuitive. The raison d’etre of unions is supposedly to arrange better conditions, compensation and benefits for their members, so why they would agree to that deal doesn’t jump out at you. But the reality is that not all of the hotels are unionized. The ones who run open shops fall under the new arrangement and have to pay their workers significantly higher wages. So how do they get out of this sudden spike in labor costs which could put them at a disadvantage with their competitors? (Cue the Jeopardy music…)
“They can just unionize their work force.
“It’s really a genius maneuver if you think about it. Getting a raise for some of the workers in the city who already belong to your union doesn’t really translate into that much more money in dues because they only collect a small percentage of the increase. But if you can suddenly enlist the workers at a whole raft of new businesses into your organization you get a piece of all their paychecks. It’s the perfect plan, really.”
Dear labor union members, Johnny Rotten put it best:
Who’s the real enemy of labor?