The movement that has called for massive increases in the minimum wage has seen victories, but it does not seem as though they will easily be satisfied. Even as the ink was drying on the new law in Oregon, the protests began again.
It took less than a day after Oregon’s governor signed one of the nation’s largest minimum wage hikes into law for activists to complain that it’s not enough – and to begin pushing for further wage mandates to be included on the state’s ballot in November.
The protests point to the fact that there is no compromise with the protesters. They want their way, and they want it now. Even though the state has probably done more than their economy could stand.
The newly signed law will raise Oregon’s minimum wage from the current level of $9.25 per hour to $14.75 per hour in cities like Portland. Smaller cities will have a minimum wage of $13.50 and “rural areas” will have the minimum wage set at $12.50. The increases will be phased-in over the next six years, with the first increases taking effect in July.
What Oregon has done is probably going to be very costly to their economy. The idea that you will cost business owners and not consumers is naïve.
But, this nor concessions has stopped one organization from demanding more.
Justin Norton-Kertson, campaign manager for Oregonians for 15, told KUTU-TV that the new law was “too low and too slow.”
Oregonians for 15 is pushing ahead with a plan to increase the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour in three years. They hope to have that proposal on the ballot in November.
We should hope for Oregon jobs that this does not happen. If it does, it is likely to cause businesses to consider other places to place jobs.