Chamber Will Spend Big Money to Fight SJ Wage Increase

The San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has a goal of raising “$1.5 million to fund multi-language television, direct mail and outreach to businesses” to defeat the ballot measure to give low wage workers a raise, according to an online business newsletter.

While the Chamber of Commerce has told its members it expects to have a tough fight on the ballot measure, they believe they can defeat the $2 an hour raise if they throw enough money at trying to deceive voters into thinking it will hurt business in San Jose.

Cindy Chavez, Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council:

It’s deplorable that the business community in this city would go to such lengths to keep poor people poor. The Chamber should be embracing this policy and helping to lift the entire economy up, including low wage workers. Other cities that have given minimum wage workers a raise have not seen a negative impact on their businesses.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Chamber President Matt Mahood, referring to local business:

Most of these guys are already struggling with the down economy and now this will compound their problems.

But research has shown that other cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Santa Fe, New Mexico have not seen a negative impact on business or employment because of citywide minimum wage increases.

San Jose’s wage proposal is endorsed by dozens of small businesses, non-profit organizations including the United Way of Silicon Valley, community and faith leaders and elected officials.

The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council firmly supports the wage increase and will campaign to pass the measure Nov. 6. Phone banks and precinct walks will take place almost every day until the election.  For more information e-mail Anna at Anna@atwork.org or call 408-266-4098.