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Urge Mayor Bloomberg to Support a Living Wage for City Workers

This petition had 219 supporters

A proposed bill would guarantee a living wage for New Yorkers working on city-subsidized projects. Seems like a great idea, right? It is, but New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and several members of his administration oppose it.

The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act would ensure that any developer receiving city funds for a project has to pay its workers at least $10 an hour, or about $3 an hour more than minimum wage. $10 an hour is not a lot of money. In fact, for someone working forty hours a week, it comes out to something like $20,000 a year. For a single-income family of four, that would be below the federal poverty line. Don't forget that we're talking about New York City here, which is the single most expensive place to live in the country. Who could possibly be in favor of paying New York workers — those working on projects funded with taxpayers' money, no less — so little?

Mayor Bloomberg is the driving force behind the opposition to the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. His argument is that the bill would hinder development, because developers won't be willing to pay the extra labor costs so they'll pass on city contracts.

At least 120 other cities around the country have laws requiring wage standards for city-funded projects, and none of them are worse off for it. New York City even reached a similar agreement last year for a development project in Coney Island. It sounds like Mayor Bloomberg might have forgotten that ensuring prosperity for New Yorkers is his job. Remind him, and the others in his administration who oppose the bill, by signing this petition now.

Photo credit: Ralph Alswang for the Center for American Progress

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