Today, as has been publicized for weeks, fast-food workers across the country are expected to walk off their jobs. The union-organized movement is an effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in addition to the right to form a union without employers resisting their efforts.
But the newly formed Market Wage Action Alliance questions the value of such government mandates and argues that minimum wage laws do more harm than good. On its website, marketwage.org, it claims, “Since 1938 minimum wage laws have harmed the most vulnerable workers. Yet the current ‘Living Wage’ efforts by organized labor will further increase unemployment for the poor. Please help us protect entry-level jobs.”
Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees. In a BLS report on the effects of the first minimum wage law, it found that up to 50,000 people lost their jobs.
While organized labor claims that a minimum wage increase is good public policy, in reality, it discriminates against low-skilled workers (see Milton Friedman here). Yet an even more self-serving motive for unions to raise the minimum wage is that numerous union contracts are tied to minimum wages (see examples here and here).
To combat Big Labor’s attempt to manipulate the labor market, the Market Wage Action Alliance is putting on events around the country and created a legal defense fund to “restore sound economic policy to employment in the United States.”
In part, the new alliance is urging consumers to honor fast-food workers this Labor Day weekend through voluntary action. As seen in the poster below, please show your support for fast-food workers by giving them a tip for good service and their hard work.