by Harry Brill
On April 17 the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce stated in a leaflet that it supported “REGIONAL WAGE LEVELS”. Less than one week later, on April 22, MAYOR BATES sent a press release stating that adjacent cities should join together to adopt a REGIONAL MINIMUM WAGE LEVEL. He is making this proposal instead of supporting the Berkeley minimum wage proposal submitted to the City Council by its own Labor Commission.
Of course, since the adjacent communities either have already enacted minimum wage laws or are currently in the process of doing so, it makes no sense currently for Berkeley to be the exception. Only after Berkeley has its own minimum wage ordinance, like other communities, can we then talk about a regional approach.
It is most difficult to believe that the timing is only coincidental. Many of us were wondering how he came up with the idea of substituting a commitment to achieving a living wage for an approach that would effectively postpone if not kill the ordinance submitted by the Council’s own Labor Commission. Now we know!
The Berkeley City Council will meet on Thursday, May 1, 7pm to consider enacting the minimum wage proposal submitted by its own Labor Commission. Because a large turnout is expected, the Council meeting will be held at Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, 1500 Derby Street (cross street Sacramento). We’ll be holding a rally there at 6pm. Please do what you can to join us.