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New Orleans City Contractors Demand a ‘Living Wage’

Demand and supply, work and wage or remuneration for work, these are things that form the pillar of any economic society. The concept of pay and the conflict that arises therefrom as regards its increase or decrease is as old as the concept of being paid for work done, it is germane to this article. This is so because the supply of labor is inextricably tired to the remuneration of labor, without adequate pay the supply and performance of labor grinds to a halt. From time immemorial labor was not necessarily paid with money but with anything of value that the laborer considered as fair wage and the employer accepted to pay. 

New Orleans and City Contractors Demand for Living Wage 

Living Wage can also be referred to as minimum wage, this is the basic/minimum pay a person needs to survive in the most basic of ways. As stated above, pay is necessary for the availability of labor, the demand of contractors in New Orleans for a higher living wage is not far-fetched. Over the last couple of years, there has been inflation, the dollar is not worth as much as it was worth before due to various factors. Now imagine being paid the same bare wage you have been paid from the last five years till this point. This would surely not be able to sustain you or purchase as much as it did three years ago, this is part of the reasons an increase in living wage is important. The members of the City Council in New Orleans is trying to pass a law that would effectively increase the living wage of employees and contractors in New Orleans, this is against the backdrop of an increase in living wage by other municipal areas, it is posited that this is the right time for New Orleans to join the wagon. 

This law proposed by 5 members of the city council aims to increase the wage of employees of city contractors to 13.25 dollars per hour of work in 2022, from the present 11.19 dollars. In 2023 the increase would be to fifteen dollars. 

The council members state that the goal of this proposed law is to make sure that the dollars of the taxpayers work for the people in creating jobs and more opportunities, this would help reduce the rate of poverty of workers that fall within the category envisaged by the proposed law. It would also help increase the productivity of many businesses. One of the council members sees the law as a necessity which is in form of investment in the citizens, it is also viewed as an obligation of the lawmakers as the workers affected are essential to the growth of the city. How would an employee provide for their loved ones on paltry wage? Several advocacy groups for better pay have lauded the actions of the lawmakers as these groups have been advocating for better pay for years. 

The rules sought to be made includes the clause that wage should rise in accordance to inflation year after year as this would help workers cope more with the continuously increasing economic hardship. 

Some cities have since implemented their increased wage laws, cities such as Arizona, California, and Illinois with the least living wage in these cities being 15 dollars per hour of work.