Back In The USSR
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn won’t tolerate anyone messing with Mayor Bloomberg and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, doesn’t want messing with Ms. Quinn for angrily leaving this morning’s rally celebrating the upcoming vote to pass the living wage bill after someone mocked the mayor.
Ms. Quinn made her exit from morning’s rally on the City Hall steps when someone shouted a crack about “Pharaoh Bloomberg.” Mr. Appelbaum, who was in attendance at the awkward rally, leapt to the Speaker’s defense this afternoon with a press release reminding people of her role in getting the living wage bill vote passed in the first place.
“Make no mistake, there would be no living wage law bill without the Speaker,” Mr. Appelbaum said. “Even though Chris may have left the rally after declaring her support for the bill, the most important thing for us to remember is that thousands of new Yorkers will receive higher wages because she had the courage to stand up and pass the living wage law.”
In his weekly appearance on John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s living wage bill. Mr. Bloomberg compared the bill, which would raise worker wages at city-subsidized developments, to the economic policies of the former Soviet Union and vowed to fight the measure with a veto and, if necessary, a lawsuit.
“If you think about it, the last time we really had a big, managed economy was the U.S.S.R. and that didn’t work out so well,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “You cannot stop the tides from coming in. We need jobs in this city. It would be great if all jobs in the city paid a lot of money and had great benefits for the workers, not good for the employers, but if you force that, you will just drive businesses out of the city.”
Strongly Worded Letters
Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained his opposition to the “Fair Wages For New Yorkers Act,” also known as the “Living Wage Bill,” at a press conference celebrating the new taxi bill in Inwood today. In response to a question from The Politicker, Mayor Bloomberg said he’d be willing to “take a look at” at a hypothetical, modified version of the bill, but he thinks New York needs to stay consistent with the federal minimum wage and the rate in neighboring states. He also believes working long hours for low pay is a key part of the “American dream.”
“Fundamentally, I believe that the marketplace has got to set these things, we’re in competition with other cities,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “I would love to have everybody who has a job in this city get well paid and have all sorts of benefits.I think it is also practical to say that there are jobs that just would never support those kinds of benefits and the economics just dont work in those industries.”
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew sent a letter to all 51 members of the City Council asking them to support the “Fair Wages For New Yorkers Act,” better known as the “Living Wage Bill.” “Millions of New Yorkers are struggling just to make ends meet, and our members–their teachers and other educators–are seeing the effects of that harsh reality in our classrooms everyday. Children who are not being fed, clothed or housed properly cannot hope to concentrate,” Mr. Mulgrew wrote. ”The passage of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act’ would be a step towards improving the lives of millions of New Yorkers, and consequently, their children,” wrote Mr. Mulgrew.