After nearly three years of union-funded protests nationwide to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, in Oregon, a large and diverse group of unions and their allies are now lowering their “demands” to $13.50 per hour.
A powerful union-led coalition announced Wednesday that it will push for a $13.50 minimum wage in Oregon — putting the group at odds with not only the state’s major business groups but with a separate group seeking a $15 minimum wage.
Meanwhile, organizers of a separate ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three years said they would continue to push for their proposal.
“We still don’t see any good reason to settle for less than 15,” said Kristi Wright, who heads 15 Now Oregon.
Among others who are unhappy with settling at $13.50 (instead of $15) per hour is Blue Oregon’s Thomas Mosher, who writes:
After gaining some major wins for their own members, organized labor and members of the established left got a bit of cold feet. See they are anticipating a serious fight in the next election cycle. Right to Work has been coming to Oregon, and it has labor gearing up for what they believe will be a serious and costly battle.
15 Now Oregon responded that anything less than $15 is not enough for hardworking Oregonians to pay their bills and provide for their families. We will continue to stand strong for $15.
Given that the SEIU–the main sponsor of the #FightFor15 protests–has backed down to $13.50 an hour, it seems that standing strong may not be so easy for those who continue pushing for $15, as they will be left without the support of several of their main financial backers.
The coalition fighting to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $13.50: