By Alan Maki, Warroad, MN
Posted Mar. 13, 2014 @ 8:41 am
It was reported in the Crookston Times (February 5, 2014) that the DFL will hold a "multi-county convention in Thief River Falls on April 5, which will include the counties of Polk, Norman, Marshall, Pennington, Kittson, Roseau and Red Lake."
The reason provided by these DFL party hacks is that this multi-county convention will encourage more participation from "statewide candidates."
Judging from the much lower than normal citizen participation in the DFL Precinct Caucuses this year, what the DFL needs is more citizen participation and less self-serving rhetoric from these politicians who say one thing to get our votes and do the opposite once elected.
The minimum wage is a case in point.
People are getting fed up with the DFL because the DFL has become known as the "bait and switch" political party.
In order to get votes, the DFL "baits" voters by dangling the idea before them that they will legislate a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage.
Now that the Minnesota DFL has a super-majority, these politicians pull a "switch" and bring forward another poverty Minimum Wage.
No wonder DFL Precinct Caucuses experienced an all time low citizen participation this year.
Grassroots citizen activists through their participation in precinct caucuses over the years are responsible for the DFL's Platform calling for:
Labor and Employment
We promote the American labor movement and the rights of all workers.
• A minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation and provides full time workers with an income above the poverty level.
I will be attending this "multi-county convention" to find out from all these statewide candidates why they kicked workers under the bus when it comes to the Minimum Wage.
We have heard calls from DFL legislators for a Minimum Wage "increase" ranging from $7.75, $8.00, $9.50 and $10.10.
We even had a group of DFL legislators try to live for a week on the current federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. Surprise, surprise; they couldn't do it.
But, the real test would have been for these DFL legislators to have tried living on the Minimum Wage most of them seem to be proposing: $9.50.
Obviously, these legislators didn't try living on the Minimum Wages they are proposing because, just like with $7.75, no one can live on such miserly poverty wages.
"Cost-of-living" has been omitted from Minimum Wage discussions by these DFL legislators... could one imagine the Minimum Wage going up like the price of propane?
Is there anything other than "cost-of-living" wages can be compared to? Wages in relation to "cost-of-living" is what determines what kind of "standard-of-living" working class families will have.
Any school child understands that a poverty wage can't lift anyone out of poverty.
And, yet, if the Minimum Wage were to be tripled like the price of propane working people would be getting the real living--- non-poverty--- wages the DFL Platform calls for.
Of course, poverty waged workers can't bribe politicians like the employers do.
What we can do is withhold our votes from this "bait and switch" crowd.
Maki is Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council.