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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Breaking News: City Council Considers Minimum Wage Ordinance Roll Back

Business Owners Convince City Council to "Hit Pause" on Minimum Wage Ordinance

BREAKING- (City Hall)
In a major turn around of long standing City policy, tonight the City of Emeryville is considering a roll back of its landmark Minimum Wage Ordinance.  After hearing from individual Emeryville business owners following an agendized presentation of the Minimum Wage Ordinance, the Council suddenly moved to consider overturning central provisions of its hugely consequential ordinance, set to increase workers wages on July 1st.  Expressing urgency, the Council directed the City Manager to make a vote possible before that date.
The roll back action was initiated by Mayor Ally Medina and enthusiastically taken up by Council member John Bauters who called upon his desire to “hit pause” on the ordinance.

Emeryville’s Minimum Wage Ordinance was enacted in 2015 after consideration of business community concerns and testimony from the minimum wage workers in town.  Tonight however, after hearing only from the business community, the Council proclaimed that the provisions for wage increases be stopped before the July 1st wage scheduled increase, a job the City Manager said would be very difficult owing to a lack of time. 
There was very little back and forth among the Council members tonight about the ramifications of this drastic proposal; the majority of their time was spent finagling around Brown Act directives to make sure any vote taken to overturn the ordinance would be legal.

Council member Christian Patz took issue with the cavalier manner in which his colleagues jumped into amending the long standing ordinance.  The other Council members expressed no such reservations.  A special meeting will be announced soon by City Hall so that the State required two ‘readings’ of a change to the ordinance can come in under the July 1st wire.

The Tattler will report in more detail on this fast moving story in the days to come.  Watch this space…


  1. We need information on what a rollback of the minimum wage ordinance would mean. I assume that can be gotten from a ch.27 playback of last night's council meeting. I'd hate to see our city government branded as hypocritical for caving in to one night's pressure, but like most other Emeryvillians, I'm not fully apprised of this matter.

  2. Could you please add Mills College to your blacklist? Now that they are working against our MWO ordinance and repeating the same anti-worker BS that the small, local businesses put out, they should be boycotted as well.

  3. Emeryville definitely needs to "hit pause" on some things. Emeryville needs to hit pause on its hatred of the working poor. Emeryville needs to hit pause on giveaways to developers. Emeryville needs to hit pause on studios and one-bedrooms. Emeryville needs to hit pause on contaminating its soil. Emeryville needs to hit pause on destroying Ohlone burial sites. Emeryville needs to hit pause on school bonds that only benefit Turner Construction. Emeryville needs to hit pause on shooting black women. There's a long list of things Emeryville needs to hit pause on. Giving workers a living wage isn't anywhere on that list.

  4. I strongly supported the original MWO but also favor reevaluating its measures. This shouldn't be done cavalierly, of course, since people stand to be hurt no matter what action is taken. But if the MWO as it reads now leads to greater suffering than the suffering it was meant to address, I don't see a case for ignoring that fact.

    1. I think just about everyone would agree with your premise that correction should be made if this or any law is increasing suffering. The question becomes; who's suffering matters more? And how much suffering is too much? Is it the suffering of the working poor who can't feed their families on what they make working full time or is it the suffering of a business owner trying to make payments on a second yacht? If it leans more towards the suffering of working poor then that's where there should be government intervention. Of course, this is a crude analogy, but you get the idea. We need to direct government action where it's the most effective against suffering that really matters.
      Clouding this of course is the fact that those with material interest in lying tend to lie, especially if there's no negative repercussions to lying. We should never assume the business owners are telling us the truth when formulating our public policy. Unfortunately, we need to promulgate public policy with hard to get facts.

  5. The minimum wage has always, and will always be $0/hr: this is what workers are paid when the small businesses they used to work for close as a result of increased labor cost.

    Also deeply disturbing to see articles such as this passed off as even-handed journalism despite the incredibly obvious biases of the author in the comments.

    1. Biased? Check out the masthead of the Tattler. It couldn't be more plain: The Emeryville commons from the residents' perspective. As in: not from the businesses perspective.
      We've said it before and we'll say it again: If a business can't make it unless it pays a sub-poverty wage, then that's not a viable business and they're not welcome in our town.
      How's that for biased?