Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Chicago Decides to Keep Jobs: Minimum Wage Increase Defeated

Democrats split over battle on minimum wage increase. I may disagree with Daley on many things and dislike him for other reasons, but Chicago can be thankful that he fought on this issue.

A divided City Council today sustained Mayor Daley’s first-ever veto by a 31 to 18 vote: Wal-Mart and 42 other big box retailers in Chicago will not have to pay their employees at least $13 an hour in wages and benefits by 2010.

One day after framing the debate in racial terms, Daley got his way with three votes to spare.

Thirty-four votes were needed to override the mayor’s veto. The attempt fell three votes short. As expected, three aldermen who supported the minimum wage ordinance on July 26 crossed over to support the mayor: Aldermen George Cardenas (12th), Shirley Coleman (16th) and Danny Solis (25th). As expected, they were joined by Ald. Helen Shiller (46th), the only alderman who did not cast a vote on July 26.

The vote came after two hours and 15 minutes of debate following a recess to accommodate chief big-box supporter Ald. Joe Moore (49th), who attended the funeral of six children who died in a Rogers Park fire.

Coleman agreed to change sides after Wal-Mart promised to build an Englewood store at 63rd and Halsted, down the street from the soon-to-be built Kennedy-King College.

Solis has been angling for Daley to appoint him to the job of city clerk vacant since the resignation of convicted City Clerk Jim Laski. But, he said today, “Even if he [Daley] offered it now, I wouldn’t take it. It’s too late. The opportunity was three or four months back when an incumbent could have made something out of it.” . . .


Here is a discussion on the possible implications for Daley:

The Chicago mayor flexed his muscle with his veto of the controversial measure, but his fight with the city council showed that he may actually be vulnerable in next year's election . . .

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