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New York, NY - Proposed Minimum Wage Increase to $10 to be Opposed by Bloomberg

Published on: May 24, 2010 10:11 AM
By:  NY Times
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New York, NY - In what could set off a major City Hall battle, two City Council members from the Bronx plan to propose a bill on Tuesday that would guarantee wages of at least $10 an hour, nearly $3 above the minimum wage, to all workers at development projects receiving public subsidies.

The bill is likely to draw strong opposition from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who vigorously fought, and ultimately lost, a struggle last year over similar wage requirements at a mall that was planned to be built inside the city-owned Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.

The plans for a mall were defeated by the Council because Mr. Bloomberg and the developer refused to include pay rates higher than the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, as the bill is being called, would have wide-ranging implications for the largest development projects in New York, replacing agreements hammered out project by project with a broad standard intended to protect low-wage workers. It would affect only future projects, not projects that have already been approved.

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Real estate groups typically oppose so-called living-wage requirements, arguing that they stifle development and hinder private investment.

Roughly 140 municipalities across the country have passed similar legislation, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Fe, N.M., said Robert Pollin, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who has studied living wage issues.

“The idea is, where government subsidies are involved, the people who receive those subsidies should not be paying poverty-level wages,” said Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who is co-sponsoring the bill with Annabel Palma.

A variety of unions, community groups, policy advocates are planning a major push to rally support for the bill. They have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning on the steps of City Hall.

The bill’s fate will rest in large measure with the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who voted against the Armory project last year but whose office declined to comment on the wage bill.

The fight will feature many of the same faces that last year urged the Related Companies, the developer selected for the Kingsbridge Armory, to require that future tenants pay employees at least $10 an hour. Higher wages were warranted, they argued, because Related would have received more than $50 million in tax credits and exemptions. Related and Mr. Bloomberg refused, arguing that the wage requirement would make it difficult to attract tenants.

While the Kingsbridge Armory battle centered on wages at one project, the wage bill seeks to expand the debate to developments across the city that receive public subsidies worth more than $100,000, whether in discounted land sales, tax credits or other incentives.

The mandated wages will be $10 an hour with benefits, or $11.50 without. Wages would increase to keep up with inflation.

The Bloomberg administration is likely to oppose the bill on the grounds that projects needing subsidies should not be burdened with extra wage requirements, and that in a stagnant economy, job creation should be paramount.

The Bloomberg administration and the city’s Economic Development Corporation plan to commission a national study to examine how living wage laws have worked in other cities. Dr. Pollin, who has completed similar studies, said he found that businesses adjusted to the salary requirements by increasing productivity or raising prices slightly.

The bill’s supporters view its introduction as a watershed moment.

“If you want charity, you have to be charitable,” said Rubén Díaz Jr., the Bronx borough president. “If you want a public benefit to your project, then your project has to benefit the public. It’s a simple equation.”


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Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM Anonymous Says:

What do you expect from a money man?? He does not want a poor man to make any $$$!! If he was in the poor man 's shoes, he would be fighting for the $10.00 not fighting AGAINST it!!!

2

 May 24, 2010 at 10:34 AM Unlimited Minimum Wage Says:

WOW , How about minimum $25 per hour, or more - that's will be better.

3

 May 24, 2010 at 10:35 AM Beggers Says:

"The Bloomberg administration is likely to oppose the bill on the grounds that projects needing subsidies should not be burdened with extra wage requirements, and that in a stagnant economy, job creation should be paramount. " Bloomberg is right on the money with this! Beggers cant be choosers, the council should be thankful anyone wants to develiope in this stagnant evonomy!! So many people dont have jobs, anything is better then nothing; take what you can instead of begging for more benefits!

4

 May 24, 2010 at 10:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Why $10.00? Make it $20.00.

5

 May 24, 2010 at 10:44 AM Use Your Head Says:

The minimum wage is a fraud and a hoax. In the long run, it benefits nobody, except for politicians. All it really does is cause inflation. As usual, the liberals/lefties are living in a dreamland where you can create economic prosperity through legislation. If only it was that easy!

6

 May 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Why stop at 10.00? Why not 500.00 an hour, and no one has to report to wordk. Everyday is a vacation day. Just think . Get paid for sitting home, everyone can be a rich man, have 25/30 children, go to the pool hall everyday, stay at a bungalow, hire nanies, pay them 450.00 an hour, maybe 750.00 an hour.
How crazy can we get? Who is going to pay for all of the handouts? Do you think every business can just afford to pay, pay, and pay?
How many of you wanna bes, have a small family business, let alone have a job? Try running, or starting your own, and hire people to work for you? You will soon change your minds, when you find that business is not the dreamy eyed wonder you think everyone has. It's work, hard work.

7

 May 24, 2010 at 11:20 AM A BOSS Says:

I barely make $11 per hour being in my own business, now I will have to pay my workers almost the same amount as I take out as a boss plus time and half when needed? How much do you think we bosses earn already?
Who has sleepless nights worrying and thinking about the business?
Who works weekends?
All for $11 per hour that I take out!!

8

 May 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
A BOSS Says:

I barely make $11 per hour being in my own business, now I will have to pay my workers almost the same amount as I take out as a boss plus time and half when needed? How much do you think we bosses earn already?
Who has sleepless nights worrying and thinking about the business?
Who works weekends?
All for $11 per hour that I take out!!

Presumably you are building something that will be worth a lot more in the future, whereas your employees are not getting much out of their measley 8-10.00/ hour.

9

 May 24, 2010 at 12:21 PM Anonymous Says:

the results of the Amory demonstration were clear. instead of development and 2000 jobs they got nothing. keep taxing business owners and see how many stay. New jersey and Connecticut are not that far away. neither is Nassau county for that matter

10

 May 24, 2010 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Bloomberg is wrong, he raised the price of living to the middle class, let him pay for it.

I understand those that oppose the minimum wage, but that is true only as long as goverment stays out of our lives all together. The fact is that Bloomberg harassed the middle class with so many taxes and fees. While keeping the commercial RE tax at the same price as before, he raised private home owners RE tax over 100%, Water fees with 50%, Utilities with 15% and sales tax with 14%.

Where oh where are we suppose to get that money from? Let the same goverment that charges it, pay it.

11

 May 24, 2010 at 12:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Hey Mister Boss its not what you earn that counts it what you show what you earn that counts 10 an hour on a 40 hour week you can still take nice public benifits and all the cash Tuchas oifen tisch

12

 May 24, 2010 at 02:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Ok, raise the Min. Wage. But now services and products are going to cost more! We already pay $3.00 for a burger. Do you want to pay $4?

13

 May 24, 2010 at 04:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Ok, raise the Min. Wage. But now services and products are going to cost more! We already pay $3.00 for a burger. Do you want to pay $4?

Well yes, if I (Government) can charge a fat tax on it why not.

14

 May 25, 2010 at 01:42 AM Liberalism Is A Disease!!! Says:

The minimum wage should stay where it is. When you raise the wage EVERYTHING goes up in price to keep in line with the raise in salaries to the workers. This is simple Economics that unfortunately most libs dont get.

Let me 'splain it to you this way:

If you go normally buy a burger for $5 where that $5 goes to pay many things including workers salaries. Now the min wage rate is raised to $10, what happens to the price of your burger??? It goes UP UP UP to defray the cost of employee's raises. Factor in higher taxes the employer has to pay etc., and your burger now costs you way more than $5!!! Simple!

15

 May 25, 2010 at 10:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Instead of creating jobs, it will just drive them out of the city. They can build the same mall (or whatever they are building) just a few miles away without the City's minimum wage requirements. The City loses out big time.

16

 Jun 22, 2010 at 08:06 AM waggs Says:

I Believe that it should go up. I make $8.50 an hour :( seriously. So I'll break it down for you. I gross $340.00 a week after taxes that is what $240.00 a week than I have to pay for child care so that $100.00 a week SO now I just worked a 40hr week and brought home a pay check for $140.00. I have a mortgage car insurance and other bills my My husband make $13 an hour i struggle to pay my bills and the government says i make to much $$ to get assistance. WTF. $10.00 an hour would so help my family. SO please tell me what am I suppose to do?? We need a minimum wage increase like never before. HELLO we r in 2010 times are different and things are way more expensive. It's not just a city thing either i live in upstate ny and Things suck here.

17

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:34 PM anonymos Says:

how much does bloomberg make an hour? why don't we give bloomberg
a $7.25 hr wage and see if he can live off it !!!!
meanwhile OUR tax money pays for all their dinners and champagne and limos
the list is endless !! what is this the roman empire all over again?
$7.25 hr is slave labor and the government wants taxes from the $7.25 hr & they still want a cut of that SHAME ON YOU !!!!!!
we the people pay for all the jets they fly in and all the hotels they stay in and lets not forget about all the entertaining the government does on our tax dollars, from spas to prostitutes!!!!!!! I say give back to the people you selfish, greedy,government officials. This reminds me of the big fat king chewing on a huge turkey leg & is eating like a pig while all the slaves starve do you remember that big fat Roman Empire King!!! Bloomberg lets pay you $7.25 hr you crooks.
how much do you make to be able to afford ridding lesons for your daughter!!!!!
what about the private schools?? How much do you make an hr?
SHAME ON YOU !!!! what kind of house do you live in & what maids work for you!
Bloomberg God is watching what goes around, comes around !!!!! You dont care about the people!

18

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:54 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Why $10.00? Make it $20.00.

$20.00 is good but lets make what bloomberg is making equal pay!!!!!!
I would like to take riding lessons too!!!! & Limo rides & have maid service & stay at posh hotels & fine dinning!!! lets not forget the Cartier jewlery & Rolex watches
and A Bentley would be nice. Spas & salons, Channel cloths,shoes,bags & a scarf !
I would like the same salary bloomberg is getting so I can enjoy my life too!!!!!!

19

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