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

Low Wage Jobs or No Jobs at All?
That’s No Choice at All!

Aug 7, 2006

After the Chicago city council voted 35 to 14 for a minimum wage of $10 an hour plus $3 in benefits in 2010 for workers at so-called “big box” stores with more than 50,000 square feet, Target announced it wouldn’t build a store on the north side of Chicago. Mayor Daley threatens to veto the ordinance and to convince two aldermen to change their opinion so he can defeat an override of his veto.

The association of retail store owners threatens that higher wages will cost jobs. These stores take jobs right now–while paying low wages. What’s the real reason these hypocrites are opposed to higher wages? It would cut a bit into their profits!

We’re told the only choices in front of us are low-paid jobs that a family can’t live on or no jobs at all. It’s a lie and a blackmail operation. It’s possible to have decently paid jobs–but only if there is a big fight made for them. This would have to go way beyond demanding the “big box” ordinance which would provide a $10 wage to only 8,000 workers–and even then, with many restrictions. The demand should be to cover the hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers with the wages needed to live on. And the fight needs to be made by all the workers. Because we are all concerned when anyone is underpaid or out of work.