Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The day of the low cost is about over in L.A.

The Wall Street Journal finds that manufacturers have options, but maybe low skilled workers don't;
The city’s wage law, which will raise the base pay by 50% over five years, serves as a test for urban minimum wages. Advocates say it will provide much needed help for working families but manufacturers warn it will undercut their competitiveness and drive them out of town.

Contract apparel manufacturer 5 Thread Factory, whose garments include shirts for men and women, mountain-bike gear and other products, has outgrown its two floors of space in a gritty downtown neighborhood just three years after it opened. But with wages rising, Chief Executive Brian Zuckerman said he won’t sign another lease in the city.

“The simple answer to this whole conversation is we’re moving out of the city of L.A.,” he said.
And the workers themselves aren't quite the fools their elected leaders are;
Luz Garrido has worked in Los Angeles’ sewing factories for more than a decade. If the law allows her to earn even $50 more a week, she said that would help make ends meet for her and her daughter. But she also fears repercussions.

“Our employers, will say ‘Here we are paying you more, so you are going to have to do more and more and more’,” she said. “The pressure is going to be very intense.”
 But not for the politicos and their academic enablers.

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