Although SEIU would like people to think that its support for minimum wage hikes is altruistic, the facts are otherwise.
Aaron Rodriquez, journalist at the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, interviewed Sally Sprenger, who runs a company that helps the elderly and disabled, and contracts with the County. “Sprenger said SEIU guaranteed her an exemption from paying the County’s wage hike if she agreed to deduct union dues from all of her employees’ paychecks.”
Besides using the exemption to gain dues paying members, SEIU is credited with writing the Milwaukee living wage ordinance. Sprenger said, “SEIU told me they wrote the living wage ordinance and that they singled out only the companies they represented.”
In addition, “Supervisor Jim ‘Luigi’ Schmitt told the Red Fox blog in December that SEIU worked on 16 different drafts on the living wage ordinance in collaboration with Supervisor David Bowen.”
Second, exemptions are not the only way that wage hikes are advantageous to unions. Many collective bargaining agreements tie union member wages to increases in the minimum wage.
For example, a SEIU Local 1877 contract reads, “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, employees shall make at least 30 cents per hour over California or Federal minimum wage rates.” Another SEIU contract requires “minimum hourly wage rates shall exceed any statutory applicable minimum wage rate by fifty cents.”
Clearly, SEIU and other unions support minimum and living wage increases, just not for the benevolent reasons they claim.