Friday, March 19, 2004

Local Corporate Control of Local Issues

Atlanta officials' efforts to force companies contracting with the city to pay their employees a "living wage" took a major hit this week when the House voted to ban the practice.
"It is regrettable that we still have people who are not willing to share their profits and allow people to support their families," said City Councilman C.T. Martin, a key backer of the city's proposal. "The living wage ordinance is a fair piece of legislation. People should be compensated for their work."
City Council members proposed an ordinance last year that would have required all companies that do business with the city to pay employees at least $22,000 a year, or $10.50 an hour. In 2003, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin raised the salaries of all city employees to at least $22,000, enough to raise a family of three above food stamp eligibility.
Franklin created a task force to look at the ordinance. A report is close to completion.
"I'm disappointed," Franklin said of the House vote. "I don't know that we're in a position to challenge it."