Talk:Workforce Freedom Initiative

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Echoing Claim that Minimum Wage Increases are Union Bargaining Chip

In one report, the WFI claims that unions have pushed for minimum wage increases with union exemptions as a way of pushing employers to support unionization. The report argues, "Organized labor, or groups funded by unions, often lead campaigns to increase the minimum wage at the city or county level and, begging coincidence, these ordinances sometimes include an exemption for unionized employers. This “escape clause” is designed to encourage unionization by making a labor union the “low cost” alternative to new wage and other mandates."[1]

This same claim has been echoed by a number of SPN sources in recent years, from a Freedom Foundation-penned opinion column in the Wall Street Journal[2] to statements on the websites of the Illinois Policy Institute[3]. The study and its claim were also picked up in right-wing media sites such as The Washington Free Beacon (in that case, by a writer who formerly worked at the SPN Franklin Center.[4]


  1. Workforce Freedom Initiative, "Labor's Minimum Wage Exemption: Unions as the "Low-Cost" Option - See more at:," report, December 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
  2. Maxford Nelsen, "'Living Wage' Laws Are Union Lifesavers," Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
  3. Brian Costin, "MAYOR EMANUEL’S MINIMUM WAGE EXECUTIVE ORDER DOESN’T APPLY TO POLITICAL PALS," Illinois Policy Institute, organizational website, October 11, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
  4. Bill McMorris, "Big Labor Uses Wage Laws to Boost Numbers," Free Beacon, December 18, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.