Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quinn, Willets Point and living wage

Quinn, Willets Point, and Living Wage
A desperate Christine Quinn is staggering around in search of a compelling idea. The latest involves the living wage:
“In a sign that the New York City mayoral primary has lurched to the left, during Tuesday evening's mayoral debate Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that as mayor she would apply a living-wage requirement at all future city-subsidized projects.  
It was a startling revelation, given that Ms. Quinn herself was the main impediment to such a sweeping living-wage law during her tenure as City Council speaker. She eventually negotiated a compromise bill that significantly narrowed the legislation, which had been championed by a retail-workers union that later endorsed her.”
Quinn went on to say:
"I helped lead the effort that got living wage and prevailing wage passed into law in this city and when I'm mayor I will expand living wage requirements to every dollar we spend in our Economic Development Corp...I think that's why I've been endorsed by the RWDSU union, the lead union behind living wage." 
"Let me be clear, when I'm mayor I will expand living wage to include all of EDC," she later added.”
So, does that mean that the deal she is going to negotiate with the city on Willets Point will include a living wage component that is currently absent after it was sh*tcanned by EDC? And what about the retail workers that the RWDSU were supposed to advocate for?
“It was not clear if Ms. Quinn would also require tenants at subsidized projects to pay a living wage; currently tenants are exempted, as Ms. Quinn insisted during negotiations on the bill. So while the developer of a project would have to pay its employees on the site the wage required by the law, a retailer renting space there would not. The retail-workers union nonetheless supported the compromise, which was seen by some as a foot in the door for the living-wage movement.”

We assume that much will depend whether or not the flailing speaker manages to sneak into a run-off. We think that a living wage for retail workers is a great idea-and a likely deal killer for the mayor. Wonder what Bill de Blasio has to say about this?