The biggest threat to the Wal-Mart profit-through-poverty-wages model continues to hold on to a lead in the ballot count. That would be the initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour in the city of SeaTac. It's almost a done deal -- though the fight won't end once the vote is certified.
As of the vote counting Monday, the pro vote is holding on to a 46-vote lead. That's a tad lower than the last count lead of 53 votes but still steady enough with very few votes left to count.Here are the numbers:
Yes: 2,995 (50.39%)
No: 2,949 (49.61%)
A recount is probably likely and there is also a lawsuit teed up by the we-prefer-slavery-to-decent-middle-class wages anti-initiative business crowd.
To reiterate the reasons we should be watching this so closely: The initial win, and the campaign around it, can give a great boost to the fight against poverty-level wages. It sets a standard that we need to aim for — a standard that claws back the hard work of people over the past four decades, and the robbery that has continued daily for four decades in the pathetic level of the minimum wage.
It should also serve as a counterpoint to the mediocre proposal by the Democratic Party leadership — in the House, Senate and White House — which is pushing a proposal to up the federal minimum wage t0 $10.10 which is really mediocre:
If someone works 52 weeks a year, 40 hours a week (if they are that “lucky” at a minimum wage job to get that many hours), that adds up to a bit over $21,000 a year.
With no pension. Not a single day off. And probably no decent health care.
That $21,000 is BELOW the federal poverty level for a family of four.
Remember this: the federal minimum wage should be $21.72-an-hour if we factor in productivity, which is a fancy way of saying how hard people have worked.
And this is where Wal-Mart trembles. As most of us know, Wal-Mart's entire business model is based on poverty -- low wages paid to its workers and low wage throughout the economy that force people to shop at Wal-Mart.
This campaign is a serious effort -- not a mediocre one -- at kick-starting a long process to puncture that business model.