Unions Seek Exemption from Their Own Advocacy

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Here’s an interesting story (via Instapundit), that brings to mind the practice of progressives’ giving insiders exemptions from the onerous rules that they impose on everybody else.  A California labor union that has been advocating for a $15 minimum wage wants labor unions to be exempt:

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor buried the exemption on the eighth page of its 12-page proposal for the Santa Monica City Council to review Tuesday while deciding whether to follow Los Angeles and increase the minimum wage.

The loophole would allow employers with collective bargaining agreements to sidestep the wage hike and pay their union members below the proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage.

Labor-watchers suggest that the motivation is to make labor unions more competitive.  As James Sherk of Heritage explains, “any worker in Santa Monica whose labor is worth less than $15 an hour [would have] to purchase union representation in order to hold a job.”

At least as fascinating, though, is the rationale offered by union organizer Rusty Hicks:

“This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing,” Hicks said.

Why shouldn’t individual workers also have “the option” and “the freedom”?  Well, because then there’s no room for union reps to skim off the top and there’s no simplistic talking point for politicians.



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