Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: NYCEDC’s Release of Full Report on Living Wage
“Supporters of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act have known since the announcement of NYCEDC’s study of living wage laws that it would be nothing more than a ruse designed to provide cover for Mayor Bloomberg’s clearly stated opposition to living wage mandates. The mayor made it clear from the beginning that he does not support this bill, and the City then hired consultants to conduct the study that have long and extensive records of bias against not only living wage laws, but minimum wage laws as well.
“As we predicted more than a year ago, the final study released today is biased and scientifically defective. In fact, given the significant changes that this bill has seen in recent months, this study has no relevance whatsoever to the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act, and represents little more than $1 million in wasted taxpayer money.
“I will continue to fight to make the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act a reality. When developers ask for heavy taxpayer subsidies to make their projects work, they must be willing to do better by their employees. This bill will make that premise a reality,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
The “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which was introduced into the City Council at the behest of Borough President Diaz, would require developers that receive heavy taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a “living wage.” The bill, which was introduced by Council Members Annabel Palma and G. Oliver Koppell on behalf of the borough president, currently has 30 City Council co-sponsors.
In May, a poll by Baruch College Survey Research was released, showing that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support such “living wage” laws. The survey showed that 78 percent of New Yorkers agree with requiring employers that get taxpayer-funded city subsidies to pay $10-an-hour plus benefits, while just 15 percent do not. This includes 83 percent of all Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Republicans.