Backers of Failed 'Living Wage' Vow to Press On
Having only narrowly lost Tuesday?s referendum, supporters of Santa Monica, California?s ground-breaking but ultimately short-lived ?living wage? have promised to carry on the fight for wage and benefit justice for the city?s low-paid hotel workers (see WIT for Oct. 31, 2002). The first ?living wage? in the country to extend beyond local government employees and businesses receiving individual public subsidies, to include businesses benefiting directly from local public development and investment, the Santa Monica measure went down by a margin of less than one-and-a-half percent with almost 26,000 ballots cast. Passed last year by the City Council, supporters of the ?living wage? attributed its narrow defeat in referendum to a campaign---waged by the same hotel industry and business groups that had fought to put the measure on Tuesday?s ballot---that suggested the measure might cause decreases in funding for local government services.