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Mike Set to 'Wage' War vs. Council
New York Post
Sally Goldenberg

October 27, 2010
View the Original Article


On the heels of the bruising defeat of a bill forcing small businesses to provide paid sick days, the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg are bracing for a fight on whether companies getting city subsidies should be required to pay workers a "living wage."

The issue will heat up today with the release of a report that criticizes the city's $1 million study on the matter. The report says the study is biased against proposed council legislation requiring that developers getting city subsidies -- like tax breaks and grants -- of $100,000 or more pay workers $10 an hour plus benefits, or $11.50.

That's well above the $7.25 minimum wage.

The Living Wage NYC Coalition, made up of labor leaders, liberal nonprofits and low-wage workers, says the city Economic Development Corp. purposely chose Boston-based Charles River Associates -- a consulting firm whose economists oppose living-wage laws -- because Bloomberg is against the concept.

"The city is undertaking the most comprehensive study on the effect of the wage restrictions that has ever been undertaken anywhere in the country, and some people seem to be worried about what the fact-based, nonpolitical analysis will show," Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said.

One insider called the bill "dead on arrival," although 28 of 51 council members have signed on in support.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not made her position public.

She is weighing her support among business leaders who oppose living-wage legislation as she eyes a 2013 run for mayor.