From our friends over at Engage Alabama:
Birmingham just passed an ordinance for a minimum wage of $10.10. Birmingham’s ordinance is believed to be the first of it’s kind in the deep south. But the state legislature has a different view of the matter. A bill introduced by Faulkner, a Mountain Brook attorney who routinely bills at $400 an hour for his services, locks all but the state from addressing the minimum wage. What does a high priced suburban lawyer know or care of “minimums”? Yet, his bill tries to prevent Birmingham and other local jurisdictions from passing ordinances that will allow them to set minimum wages above $7.25 for private employers.
The Birmingham City Council action was prompted by members of a community-labor-student and-faith-based coalition, “Engage Alabama.”
Le Darius Hilliard, President of Jefferson County Young Democrats and a coalition member, is angry. Faulkner, from Mountain Brook, one of the richest cities in the nation, attempts to tell Birmingham, the biggest city in the State, what is best for it while the city suffers from a high rate of poverty.” Hilliard says that 40,000 people from Birmingham will lose a raise because of the proposed action.
Andrew Jones works two jobs. One in a hair salon and one at a local restaurant. He dreams of more. Like so many service workers, he works all day and doesn’t get home until about 11 PM. Jones, is motivated by his love for his children but must work hours more at low wage to cover costs for the basic necessities of life.
“Municipalities have their own tax rates” says Doug Hoffman of Engage Alabama. “Each municipality should have the right to govern themselves based on the needs of that community.”