Late last week, a coalition of unions, community organizations and faith-based groups in Minneapolis won the nation’s most recent living wage victory when the City Council voted overwhelmingly to strengthen a previous living wage policy. Under the new ordinance, companies with city contracts or city subsidies worth $100,000 or more or those that receive city subsidies of $100,000 or more must pay a wage of $12.09 per hour. The ordinance also includes enforcement mechanisms and financial penalties for organizations that fail to comply.
Labor coalition members include UNITE HERE Local 17, SEIU Minnesota State Council, Teamsters DRIVE, the Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council, and the Twin Cities Coalition of Labor Union Women. Since 1994, more than 100 communities have enacted living wage laws, which cover a wide range of workers-“municipal employees, those working for city and county contractors, health care workers and college and university employees.