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Chicago City Council OKs 'living wage'

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member


    CHICAGO - Brushing aside warnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that makes Chicago the biggest city in the nation to require big-box retailers to pay a "living wage."
    <SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a == null) document.write("<scr" + "ipt type=text/javascript src=""http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.js.yimg.com/lib/bc/bc_1.7.3.js></scr" + "ipt>");</SCRIPT><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a){yzq_a('p', 'P=k660WULaS.bV2nTmRMBAMwaX2OTKMETINdYADvXu&T=1arocevjr%2fX%3d1153971670%2fE%3d8903239%2fR%3dnews%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d1.1%2fW%3d8%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3d1274888678%2fH%3dY2FjaGVoaW50PSJuZXdzIiBjb250ZW50PSJkZWJhdGU7SXQ7QW1lcmljYTtpdDt2aWNlIHByZXNpZGVudDtoZWxwO1NhbjtXYXNoaW5ndG9uO3JlZnVybF9uZXdzX3lhaG9vX2NvbSIgcmVmdXJsPSJyZWZ1cmxfbmV3c195YWhvb19jb20iIHRvcGljcz0icmVmdXJsX25ld3NfeWFob29fY29tIg--%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3d8DA949D1');yzq_a('a', '&U=139p2jh4h%2fN%3dGVsSB0Je5tM-%2fC%3d378325.8823240.9610091.1442997%2fD%3dLREC%2fB%3d3877598');}</SCRIPT>
    The ordinance, which passed 35-14 after three hours of impassioned debate, requires mega-retailers to pay wages of at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. It would only apply to companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet.
    "It's trying to get the largest companies in America to pay decent wages," Alderman Toni Preckwinkle said.
    The minimum wage in Illinois is $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15.
    Mayor Richard M. Daley and others warned the living wage proposal would drive jobs and desperately needed development from some of the city's poorest neighborhoods and lead giants like Wal-Mart to abandon the city.
    He hasn't indicated whether he will veto the measure; it takes 34 votes to override a veto.
    "This (ordinance) imposes special interest mandates that will unfairly deny savings and job opportunities to those who need them most," Michael Lewis, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of store operations, said in a statement. "It's wrong for the City Council to tell the people of Chicago where to shop and to make it harder for inner-city residents to find jobs."
    Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio said earlier that if the measure passed, "We'd redirect our focus on our suburban strategy and see how we could better serve our city of Chicago residents from suburban Chicagoland."
    Some aldermen also warned that Target Corp. might rethink its presence in the city — though the Minneapolis-based company has not discussed the issue.
    "What you've got to do is help the economy, not hurt the economy," said Alderman Bernard Stone, who voted against the measure.
    Other cities with living-wage laws include Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico; San Francisco; and Washington.
    Chicago has been at the center of the debate about the wages at big retailers ever since the city's rejection of a proposal by Wal-Mart to open a store on the South Side prompted the company to open a store just outside the city limits.
    The first Wal-Mart in Chicago itself is set to open in September, and the Bentonville, Ark.-based company has more than 40 other stores within 50 miles of the city.
    Wal-Mart said that its average hourly wage is almost $11 an hour in the Chicago area and that the lowest wage that will be paid at the new West Side store will be $7.25 an hour.
    Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said he expects retailers to challenge the ordinance in court.
    "The aldermen who voted in support of this ... helped put the sign up really big that development in Chicago is dead," Roper said.
  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Nice....... run them out of business not very smart to force wages
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Can we all say "Redistribution of Wealth?"

    If the Chicago City council had passed an ordinance which stated that if any business failed to realize a $0.50 net profit for every for every hour paid for its labor force, the city would offer that business a tax incentive, there would be a public outcry.

    Why is it so difficult for people to understand that strong and profitable businesses are the backbone of a strong economy increasing employment opportunities and a self regulating exchange of goods and services.

    Whenever possible, its my personal preference to use my buying power to support small community based businesses strengthening the local econoomy and ultimately reducing my tax burden but I recognize and support the value of stores like WalMart that offer goods at reduced prices allowing even those with reduced means to afford items beyond the necessities of life.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Now, that whole scheme is just plain wrong on so many counts it boggles the mind.
  5. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Well when they run the stores out of town because of this new law and they are standing in the soup line, I imagine they'll once again find something to gripe about. Can you hear it? [violin] :D
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Honestly, I try my best NOT to be prejudiced against folks, but it makes me want to puke when I see picture of these big ole fat 'welfare queens' cheering on a stupid economic decision.

    The last fight over the proposed income tax in Tennessee, I went to Nashville for the protest at the State capitol building......a 5 hour drive in my own pickup, and there were dozens of those luxury tour buses full of big ole fat welfare queens that SOMEBODY bussed in from Memphis to holler FOR more taxes in the form of income theft.

    Trying my best to give everybody the benefit of doubt, I start to wonder IF there is some genetic predisposition that has prevented most of the continent of Africa, and it's desendents, from ever rising above the level economic poverty.

    Can you say Zimbawae ?

    White men, for the most part, can't jump........but again, for the most part, they can make money.
  7. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    What few people know is Wal-mart does not intend to do stores in Chicago proper. They opened a store about 3 blocks outside the city limits and had thousands of applicants. That store is exceeding it's sales projections and the majority of shoppers come from.............Chicago proper. Great Laws do have great outcomes!

    I love the mentality. They showed WAlMART, but the residents/unions behind this fiasco shall have their cake, but not be able to partake. Walmart will simply ring the city and force them to drive.

  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    While the way it is writen appears to be total crap, in that IF they are going to do it then it should be across the board to ALL employees not just those of certian companies, I am in a sense split on my view of it. I know that $5.15 or $6/hour can help out a lot of folks but I also know that especialy in an urban area theres no way to live on it, at least not in a home/apartment that is even structuraly safe or eating anything not comeing from a hand out of some sort and in abject poverty, and I also know, especialy since the ones paying the minimum nearly always keep the employees hours low enouph to be 'part time', that those jobs will not get anyone off of welfare since anyone on welfare can live FAR better than anyone makeing minimum wage. What they are telling them they have to pay would actualy only be enpouph that if the employee was working 40 hours a week, then along with the benifits, they could ALMOST maintain the same standard of living as a person on welfare if single without kids and if they are single with kids then they still couldnt come close. The only way the proposed wages would likely improve a persons life from welfare would be if it were say a couple with no kids and both of them went from welfare to full time at those wages and then there would be some improvement.

    At the same time I realize the problem that as you increase the cost of labor then the jobs go away, the price is passed to the consumer market wide devalueing the dollar and puting you back to square one (or likely behind that), or both since the businesses are there to make a living/profit for their owners not as some kind of comunity service.

    I guess my basic point boils down to that while I dont really support a minimum wage of any kind, be if $3/hour or $15/hour since anyone has the right to refuse to work for less than they are willing to work for and either find something better or deal with the consequences of no money, I also figure that welfare, while abused by many others, is there to provide a means of maintaining the basics of living as a human being to those UNABLE to work (like I say I well know it is abused by far more who could and should be working but this being the standard of living it is there to provide), and so IF you are going to have a minimum wage at all then at least to me it would only make sense to make it high enouph that a person working 40 hours a week and applying reasonable budgeting could live to the same standard on that wage.

    Im sure some of the other folks on the board make in the $10/hour range, if you have 2-3 kids and the employer provides no benifits beyond workers comp, and assumeing you dont have someone who will watch the kids for free, could you actualy make the basic bills of rent, food, transportation, clothes and other bills in addition to basic medical and dental care while paying child care costs for the time you have to be at work when the kids are not in school, especialy if you happen to be single with those kids for whatever reason? I found it hard as hell to do without the kids and DIY health care at home when I was single and makeing $7/hour a few years ago and living in a building with incredibly low rent since it was declaired not fit for ocupation.

    So like I say, I dont really support a minimum, but if you are going to have a minimum at all then it should be across the board for all the employers and is totaly pointless untill you at least get into the neighborhood of what they are talking about makeing the big box stores pay.
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Let's look at this strictly from a financial perspective

    Min Wage @ $6.15/hr
    Add to new rate $3.85/hr

    New Rate $10.00/hr paid to employee

    Cost to Employer

    Add'l FICA on $3.85/hr $ 0.294525

    Add'l wage w/Employer Paid FICA = $4.144525

    Add'l Wage per employee per 40 hrs = $165.7810

    Add'l Worker's comp insurance
    based on Avg of all ees (See Note)
    @ $3.50 per $100 of earnings $5.39 per $100 of earnings

    Add'l cost of 40 hr $171.1710

    150 Employees, 40 hr we week Add'l Cost per week $ 25,675.65

    150 Employees Add'l Cost per Year $1,335,133.80

    Would this be an incentive for me to open a business in Chicago?????

    This doesn't take into additional state and federal unemployment taxes based on earning (State rates and earning limits vary by jurisdiction), and additional retirement plan contributions (if they exist).

    Note: Workers Comp Insurance can be as little as $0.50 per $100 of earning for a typist or as much as $7.50/ $100 for at risk employees.

    Also, this rate appears to be valid for all wage earners including the 16 yr old part timer who doesn't know enough to wipe his/her backside without instructions and cue cards.
  10. Infidel

    Infidel Guest

    Ladies and Gentlemen. I fail to understand your feelings.

    If you do not spend more and more every living day the economy will IMPLODE. the only thing that supports the economy of the U.S. is debt requested by the consumer. The Greenback is backed by debt. if more debt is not produced to offset the interest being collected by the bankers that provide U.S. ability to borrow and spend we will default. Both government and private enterprise MUST spend forever more.

    So what is your conundrum?

  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Agree with your figures except this one......you haven't priced construction workman's comp, have ya.......carpenters here run in the 20-30 buck/100 range, and that assumes your claim experience is none.

    Loggers run 50% !!
  12. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    The highest that any of my clients pay is around $13/hundred but I know they certainly go higher. I was just thinking of the rates that would probably be paid by a retailer with the highest rates for jobs like fork lift operator or warehouse worker.

    Most of my clients pay work injury bills themselves without going thru WC just so their experience rating doesn't go through the roof.
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