The rich and corrupt hacks in Tallahassee thought they had put an end to any hope for raising the minimum wage in the State of Florida back in 2003, when at the behest of the notoriously right-wing ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), they passed State Statute 218.077(2), which states: “a political subdivision may not establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employer to pay a minimum wage, other than a state or federal minimum wage, to apply a state or federal minimum wage to wages exempt from a state or federal minimum wage, or to provide employment benefits not otherwise required by state or federal law.”
They were wrong. The grassroots organization Fight for 15 has been leading the campaign in the streets of Florida and around the country, winning $15 minimums in Seattle and San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, frightening mega-corporations like Walmart into making small but unexpected wage concessions to head off further organizing. Until recently most Floridians were completely unaware of that Statute’s existence, 15 Now Florida and others have begun organizing at the local level against this vicious law in St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Orange and Alachua counties. Now we are taking the campaign statewide, with the following resolution. We call on unions, individuals, and local organizations to get behind this resolution, to let Tallahassee know that this unconstitutional measure will not be left to stand.
We understand that we are taking on some of the most powerful forces in the state. It will be a long fight. The first step, with this resolution, is to begin to make 218.077(2) a household word. Then we can mobilize around the outrage of the Tallahassee fat cats telling our cities and counties what they can do.
RESOLUTION FOR REPEAL OF STATE STATUTE 218.077(2)WHICH PREEMPTS LOCAL JURISDICTIONS FROM PASSING LOCAL MINIMUM WAGES HIGHER THAN THOSE DETERMINED BY FEDERAL AND/OR STATE LAW, AND FROM SETTING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BEYOND THOSE DETERMINED BY STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAW.
WHEREAS, Article X, Section 24(a) of the Constitution of the State of Florida states: “PUBLIC POLICY. All working Floridians are entitled to be paid a minimum wage that is sufficient to provide a decent and healthy life for them and their families, that protects their employers from unfair low-wage competition, and that does not force them to rely on taxpayer-funded public services in order to avoid economic hardship”; and
WHEREAS, it is acknowledged (see 2014 Poverty in America Living Wage Calculator) that the living wage for a Florida worker, based on a 40-hour week, to sustain a family of two parents and two children, is $20.54; and
WHEREAS, broad sectors of the Florida workforce fall far below that number:
|Food Preparation and Serving Related||$8.94|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning / Maintenance||$9.77|
|Personal care and Services||$9.68|
|Sales and Related||$12.43|
|Office and Administrative Support||$13.65|
|Farming, Fishing and Forestry||$8.86|
|Transportation and Material Moving||$12.71|
WHEREAS, State Statute 218.077(2), stating, “Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), a political subdivision may not establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employer to pay a minimum wage, other than a state or federal minimum wage, to apply a state or federal minimum wage to wages exempt from a state or federal minimum wage, or to provide employment benefits not otherwise required by state or federal law,” is a violation of the principle that local jurisdictions are best able to assess the needs of their communities; and
WHEREAS, we hold that $15/hour is the absolute minimum required for a decent and healthy life for the workers of Florida and their families (to be annually adjusted for inflation) and Statute 218.077(2) impedes our winning this;
WE HEREBY RESOLVE AND CALL UPON the Legislature of the State of Florida to immediately repeal Statute 218.077(2).