Poverty-wage workers & supporters to distribute business lobbyist bingo cards so everyone can play along during testimony against minimum wage & paid sick days bills
Bingo cards show what we should expect to hear from business lobbyists opposing bills to raise labor standards
Workers & supporters with Working Washington will hand out business lobbyist Bingo cards at the State Capitol today, inviting everyone to play along during the House Labor Committee’s 1:30 hearing on bills to raise the minimum wage and establish a minimum standard for paid sick days. As usual, we expect business lobby types will be out in force. And we expect them to tell the same old scare stories and retell the same old tired anecdotes they always trot out before elected officials when they’re opposing higher standards that raise up workers, lift our communities, and boost the whole economy.
As usual, we expect business lobby types will be out in force. And we expect them to tell the same old scare stories and retell the same old tired anecdotes they always trot out before elected officials when they’re opposing higher standards that raise up workers, lift our communities, and boost the whole economy.
After more than 100 years of these sky-is-falling fables, we have a pretty good idea what to expect. So we decided to liven things up and make a game of it: Bingo!
Who: Poverty-wage workers and community supporters with Working Washington
What: Distribute Business Lobbyist Bingo cards to members of the House Labor Committee, additional legislators, and others, during testimony on bills to raise minimum wage and establish a right to paid sick days. And anyone can play along on #waleg — download a sample card here (PDF or jpg), or generate your own and play online.
When: TODAY, Monday, January 26, 2015. Hearing (and Bingo) begin at 1:30 pm. Get there early to make sure you get a card and a good seat to play along.
Where: House Hearing Room B, John L O’Brien Building, State Capitol
Note: Follow @workingwa and watch #waleg for Bingo action & commentary
Business lobby groups always make pretty much the same threats & predictions every time labor standards come up for debate — but their sky-is-falling stories have yet to come true. Washington’s job growth has led the nation since our 1998 minimum wage hike, with restaurant payrolls up 21%. Seattle’s economy shows no negative impact from the landmark sick leave law. And in SeaTac, luxury hotel Cedarbrook Lodge announced a multimillion-dollar expansion just days after the $15 minimum wage passed in that city. (During the campaign, the manager of the hotel had insisted that a vote to raise wages would result in layoffs.)
Admittedly, the business lobbyist types speaking today are in a difficult position: the worker-led movement rising up against income equality has already spread from SeaTac and Seattle to Bellevue, Aberdeen, Kent, Tacoma, and beyond — and it shows no sign of letting up. And there’s really no good way to argue with the overwhelming national consensus around raising wages and establishing paid sick days. (Recent national polls have found at least 73% support for laws ensuring access to paid sick days, and 63% support for a $15/hour minimum wage).
An assessment of minimum wage laws from 1915: “None of the predictions made about the minimum wage before the passage of the law in Washington state came about to any appreciable extent."
A very similar assessment from 2014: “When Washington residents voted in 1998 to raise the state’s minimum wage and link it to the cost of living, opponents warned the measure would be a job-killer. The prediction hasn’t been borne out.”
Contact: Sage Wilson, email@example.com