Group Sees Pushback by Business Owners Against Minimum Wage Raises, Schedules Discussion

Published : Monday, July 17, 2017 | 5:31 AM

A local progressive discussion group will meet Friday, July 21, to hear from a man described as a leading economist expert on the minimum wage to discuss what the group sees as pushback from local business owners against newly hiked wages mandated by a Pasadena ordinance.

Pasadena’s Progressive Discussion Group will host local resident Dan Flaming as their speaker during the group’s regular meeting and community dialogue at the back room of Du-Par’s Restaurant, located at the corner of Lake Avenue and Cordova Street in Pasadena, where they meet every first and third Friday of the month.

In the meeting’s announcement, the group said its members can get up to speed for what it sees as an impending pushback by reactionary business owners “who want to stop and roll back the path to $15 per hour for the City’s lowest-paid workers.”

Flaming is with the Economic Roundtable, a Los Angeles research group, and testified before the City Council and its Economic Development Committee during the successful campaign for Pasadena’s minimum wage ordinance. He is expected to bring to the table an understanding of the University of Washington study released in June that among other things claims that in Seattle, there was a loss of jobs for workers who earn less than $19 per hour.

The study has been used by groups opposed to increasing the minimum wage, and, especially in Pasadena, could be used as leverage when the City Council reviews the minimum wage ordinance in 2018 and decides whether or not to continue with the next two phases of the increase that will bring the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2020.

Many of the groups that opposed the minimum wage hike have pointed to Seattle’s situation as a cautionary tale for the many cities and states across the country that are raising their minimum wages.

The announcement pointed to a meeting last week between a group of restaurant owners and Mayor Terry Tornek, calling it an effort by local restaurateurs to influence the minimum wage ordinance’s mandated third year pause and reconconsider clause, scheduled to occur in 2018.

The discussion Friday will be moderated by Glendale Community College Economics Professor Mark Maier.

Maier’s academic emphasis is labor economics; he is an ACT member who was a key resource for the minimum wage coalition.

The discussion Friday will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Progressive Discussion Group meetings are open to anyone wanting to attend. DuPar’s Restaurant issues separate checks to attendees, so you can have coffee, breakfast, or just thoughtful discussion of progressive issues.

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