… Part I …
So we are here, when money get’s it’s say. Let’s today take a look at what that money paid for.
Here’s a $1000 to $2000 quarter page ad on the desirable last page of the first section of today’s Times Standard.
Let’s focus first on #2. Is “Raising the minimum wage will help poor working families” a whopper? Well it is if one says it is I suppose. That’s basically what their argument is.
They say – “The truth is that in Eureka most minimum wage earners are teenagers just getting a start or have chosen to work in a minimum wage job because they are not the primary breadwinners at home.” Then the little dagger to the hard workers “Those who want to improve their skills have many employment options that pay much more than minimum wage.” (My anger level, I must admit, did go up a little when I just re-typed that sentence)
Let’s take both of No on R’s major itemized contributors. Pacific Seafood and City Cab. I can tell you from first hand experience, City Cab’s/City Ambulance employees are not teenagers. I’m also going to guess that Pacific Seafood’s are not either.
I’m also going to guess that when the employee went to the employer, part of their conversation did not go like this.
Potential Employee: ” Hi, I’d like a job, but you don’t have to pay me as much because my wife at home is the main bread winner – may I please just get a job paying the least allowed by law?”
Employer: “Yes, that’s no problem. Excuse me if you will, I have a community activity I have to attend.”
New Employee: “Totally understand, thank you. You work really hard. Honestly, I don’t,which is why I appreciate this opportunity so much. It’s kinda a life’s lesson I guess, if I’d only work hard.”
Employer: “It’s really true, you’d be surprised just how far a little hard work can get you in this country.”
New Employee: “Agreed!”
The truth is that the whopper on #2 is being told in this advertisement. That’s why it’s an advertisement – that’s why it costs so much to place it so prominently in front of our faces.
Perhaps they are right, let’s give them this “in Eureka most minimum wage earners are just getting a start”. Minimum wage is $9 per hour, so let’s allow for that. There has to be a reason then that the opposition to raising minimum wage is so fierce. What that sentence does not address is how many of Eureka’s workers are paid LESS THAN $12 per hour. Which is kinda the point of the measure – raise ALL wages between $9.00 and $11.99 to $12.00, not just those making $9.00 to $12.00.
Let’s take City Cab as an example. City Cab drivers have to be 25, City Ambulance drivers have to have completed EMT or Paramedic training. Outside of a handful of long time Paramedic employees, when I was there entry level EMTs were making $8 per hour and experienced Paramedics were making $9.5 per hour. Employees had to make real money by working overtime. Except for that handful of employees, City Ambulance employees where only their as a stepping stone to a real job working for a local fire department (ie government position) or an EMT/Paramedic job outside of the area.
Owner Fred Sunquist and management lead by Jaison Chand take advantage of their virtual conduit to College of the Redwood’s periodic 15 to 30 student EMT and paramedic classes to insure a continued “life-line” (sorry) of new recruits to replace the inevitable turn over from their over worked and underpaid employees.
That’s just one example of the actual truth. The truth is that it’s not only the national chains that are taking an unfair advantage of our hard working – working class – it’s also many of our local job creators. The truth is that this measure WILL help Eureka’s working families. If City Cab/City Ambulance or Pacific Seafood are to be used as examples, I would wager that 80 to 90% if not more of the employees who would benefit would be working class men and woman as opposed to after-school teenagers.
The truth this is why measures like R are critical and why people half a world away realize this and have chosen this Measure and our City as an example of what is possible in America if we begin to turn away from these expensive lies bought and paid for by …. oh, yeah, we don’t know whom.