The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Judge Rules in Favor of Minimum Wage Hike

Aug 1, 2022

Back in 2018 in Michigan, two ballot proposals got enough signatures to be voted on in November of that year. One would have raised the minimum wage to 12 dollars an hour in 2022 and would have instituted built-in increases for inflation. The second, would have created paid sick leave for almost all workers in Michigan.

The people of Michigan never got a chance to vote on either the Minimum Wage or Paid Sick Leave proposals. State legislators passed their own version of these proposals BEFORE the election, to stop these measures from being voted on during November 2018 elections.

AFTER the election, Michigan legislators reversed themselves. They gutted the initiatives, leaving only a watered-dawn minimum wage law.

A judge just ruled that what the legislators did in 2018 was illegal. The judge said the State Constitution protects the right of citizens to initiate laws through petitions and then vote on those laws. The judge said what the legislature did thwarted that right.

The current minimum wage in Michigan is $9.87. One result of this judge’s ruling should have been that, since it is now 2022, the minimum wage should have immediately gone up to $12 an hour—an improvement, but certainly NOT a living wage!

But this did not happen. First, the State of Michigan Office of Attorney General appealed the judge’s ruling. Second, the very judge who made the ruling issued an order delaying the implementation of the ruling until February 19, 2023.

The judge said time was needed to give companies and state agencies time to implement the required changes.

But what are minimum wage workers supposed to eat while they wait for their wages to go up? Cake?