If the Democrats were hoping for a big love festival in Philadelphia, unmolested by pesky detractors, their dreams have been dashed. The Workforce Fairness Institute is already up with a series of advertisements targeting public transportation and mobile devices and it goes straight to the heart of Hillary Clinton’s hoped for union support. Bernie Sanders’ people managed to get a push for a national $15 minimum wage into the party platform despite the fact that Clinton herself failed to support the measure on the campaign trail. It’s a hot topic in the populist movement and claims to represent a big boost to minimum wage workers.
The reality is very different. Unions have been busy cutting deals with local governments and large employers which do exactly the opposite. In exchange for higher minimum wage laws, they carve out agreements wherein their own union members can be paid less, as was previously explained by the Wall Street Journal. These advertisements are hitting the Democrats where it hurts just as their convention hurtles toward the Thursday finale.
The Workforce Fairness Institute, which has for years fought union-backed legislation in Washington, is airing advertisements across the Democratic National Convention – targeted to mobile devices in and near the convention’s arena and conference center, delegate hotels and Philadelphia’s airport.
“Are big labor bosses giving you less than you bargained for?” the ad asks.
The institute’s ads will also air in local taxi cabs and on signs carried by bicycles being ridden near the convention on streets where vehicular traffic is banned this week.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed raising it to $12 per hour, less than the $15 Mr. Sanders and union organizers have sought. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is set to the federal wage floor, but Philadelphia municipal law requires paying workers at least $12 per hour.
Check out the ad, which is already running in the backs of taxis around the city.
We’ve covered this disturbing pattern before when it’s popped up in places like California in the hotel trade and other instances in Texas, but it’s still going on today. The unions make a big, splashy public push to support a $15 minimum wage. This makes them very popular with the blue collar class. But then, in the background, they arrange for exceptions where employers can actually pay less than 15 dollars per hour. The catch is that they have to be a union shop to do so. That provides incentives for open shops to to throw in the towel and go union. In that way, the unions get a slightly smaller slice in the form of dues, but they get it from everyone instead of missing out on all those employees in the formerly non-union shops. For their part, the employers avoid a steep spike in labor costs. It’s really a win-win for everyone… except the workers. They’re left making less than they were promised, plus they wind up getting the honor paying union dues and financing the efforts of the Democratic Party whether they like it or not.
Pretty sweet deal, no? Let’s see how the progressive conventioneers and protesters around Philadelphia react to the news.