University Pushes For $15/hr Minimum Wage, Fires Hundreds After It Passes
At the infamously liberal University of California-Berkeley, taking the politically correct position on an issue seems to be vastly more important than doing the right thing, as its employees have just learned.
Less than a month after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage law, calling it part of living in a “moral community,” UC-Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks informed 500 employees that their jobs had been cut.
The announcement came after UC President Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, expressed support for the bill, the highest state minimum wage in the nation.
The increase will be phased in gradually over the next several years.
The university’s Center for Labor Research also supported the bill, releasing a report praising the wage-hike bill with chairman, Ken Jacobs, telling the Los Angeles Times, “This is a very big deal for low-wage workers in California, for their families and for their children.”
Now, 500 of those “low-wage” Californians and their families are finding out just how big a deal it is as they join the millions of unemployed in the Obama economy.
While debate about the bill had largely centered around the impact the hike would have on small businesses, the University of California is one of the largest employers in the state with nearly 200,000 employees, far better able to absorb the expense of paying the higher wages to its employees than “Mom and Pop” shops for whom the new law is thought to be a fatal blow.
Even ultra-liberal Brown had expressed misgivings about the law as he signed it, saying, “Raise the minimum wage too much and you put a lot of poor people out of work.”
Democrat presidential hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have sparred in debates over the minimum wage issue, with Sanders accusing Clinton of flip-flopping from support of a $12 to $15 base on a state-by-state basis in an issue certain to be of continued interest during the campaign.