DMI Blog

Karin Dryhurst

Miami Mayor So Over That Whole Living Wage Thing

The conservative assault on public sector workers continues in Miami as Mayor Tomas Regalado appoints career banker Carlos Migoya of the failed First Union bank to tackle the budget. Migoya says he's not afraid to take on those pesky union members. And bless his heart--he says he'll do it all for free. Well that makes one city worker who can live without a living wage.

Regalado said management dragged its feet on 131 promised layoffs and failed to move on canceling the living-wage ordinance for janitors at the city-owned Miami Riverside Center. The ordinance issue, he said, has already cost Miami $1.6 million this budget year.

The mayor said he and Migoya will focus on the unions, whose worker-friendly contracts have helped strangle the city's purse strings. Contracts had been approved by commissioners including Regalado.

``We are telling the unions that we will not be adversaries. We will clean our house first, but then we will go to them,'' said the mayor.

Public employees, usually firefighters and cops, often come under fire for high compensation in South Florida. But to demonize unionized city workers in general is to demonize the kind of middle-class jobs families need to recover from this recession, as Amy Traub noted earlier this month.

But city workers only deserve a living wage during housing bubbles, right Mayor Regalado?

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Posted at 10:30 AM, Feb 24, 2010 in Cities
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