- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Labor leaders in Los Angeles who pushed for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 are now seeking an exemption — for unionized companies.

Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that the position shouldn’t be deemed ironic.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them. This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing,” Mr. Hicks told the newspaper.

Ruben Gonzalez, senior vice president for public policy and political affairs with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, told the newspaper that the labor leaders’ actions are telling.

“Once again, the soaring rhetoric of helping the working poor is just a cover for city government acting as a tool of organized labor,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce opposed the minimum-wage increase passed by the City Council last week.

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