LIVING WAGE

News

Voters polled by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said that the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which is currently before the New York City Council, is a “good idea” by a wide margin of 74-19 percent.

“We know that the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act is a popular bill, and this poll articulates the tremendous magnitude of that support,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “New York City residents from all walks of life have made their voices heard: when heavy taxpayers subsidies are solicited by major development, those same developers must do better by their employees.”

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,” currently defined by federal law as $10 per hour plus benefits or $11.50 per hour without. The bill, which was introduced by Council Members Annabel Palma and G. Oliver Koppell on behalf of the borough president, currently has 29 City Council co-sponsors.

The poll also found support strong for the bill across the political spectrum, with support for the bill among Republicans at 56-39 percent, among Democrats at 83-11 percent and among independents at 67-25 percent.

Voters polled also said that it is the government's responsibility to make sure workers are paid a decent wage by a margin of 81-17 percent, including 60 - 39 percent among Republicans. Those polled also rejected the idea that the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act would cost New York City jobs by a margin of 56-36 percent. The “living wage” proposal also enjoys the support of voters in all five boroughs, according to the poll.

This is the second time that a poll has shown major support for both the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act and the concept of a “living wage.” In May, a poll by Baruch College Survey Research was released, showing that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support such “living wage” laws. That 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.

“The people of New York City have made it clear, again and again, not only that they support a ‘living wage’ law, but that they reject the arguments put forward by our opponents that this bill will hurt business. The ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act makes sense for our City, and it is time for this bill to be made law,” said Borough President Diaz.

A full copy of the Quinnipiac Poll can be found at:

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1302.xml?ReleaseID=1680