This Labor Day, employers and employees have reason to be grateful: The union-backed campaign to eliminate starter jobs is failing.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent at least $90 million since 2012 fighting for a $15 minimum wage. Thus far, the campaign has generated few organizing wins for the union--but plenty of embarrassing headlines. In east- and west-coast locales that have embraced the cause of labor's wage warriors, small businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down entirely. (Over 100 stories are available online at www.FacesOf15.com.) A recent study from a team of economists at the University of Washington determined that Seattle's minimum wage experiment left many employees worse off--when the mandated bump in hourly pay was offset by a loss of workplace opportunities.
Economists of all political stripes have denounced $15, and even policymakers in left-of-center locales such as Cleveland and Baltimore have rejected it. It's no surprise, then, that the SEIU has slashed funding for the campaign. That means less money for labor's campaign, and more opportunities for those doing the laboring.
— Michael Saltsman, Employment Policies Institute, Washington DC