Last Thursday, the City Council voted to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the living wage bill that aimed to provide a living wage for 75% of all hourly jobs on economic development projects, including retail tenant jobs. The bill would have required that those who directly benefit from at least $1 million in taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a wage of $10 an hour with health benefits or $11.50 an hour without. In order to track the bill’s goals, the bill includes mandatory wage reporting obligations that will allow the City to monitor its process.
Although this bill is practical and would be an invaluable tool towards reducing poverty for all New Yorkers, Mayor Bloomberg is adamantly opposed and has talked about possibly suing. The overwhelming majority of the City Council voted for this override. It only seems fair that large developers who are receiving our taxpayer subsidies should be responsible for providing decent wages and benefits to their employees.
[photo courtesy of livingwagenyc.org]