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Speak up


Hey, Detroit residents, do you remember heading to the polls in 1998 and voting to adopt a living-wage ordinance? Of course you do. After all you voted overwhelmingly — a whopping 4-to-1 margin — to enact the law that requires companies doing $50,000 or more in business with the city to pay employees $7.70 an hour with health benefits and $9.63 an hour if health benefits aren’t provided. (The current hourly minimum wage is $5.15.)

The big bite is that the ordinance is barely being enforced; the Detroit City Council is still trying to figure out exactly how to do this, as well as who should be required to abide by the law. For more than a year, unions and business backers have been wrangling before the council over these issues including whether forcing some small companies and nonprofits to follow the law will drive them out of business. Council members will have the final word, but they can’t decide without hearing from you first. That’s why they are holding a public hearing this Monday (March 26) at UAW Local 7, at 2600 Conner, at 6 p.m. So be sure to attend and plunk down your two cents — if you don’t, it may wind up costing you much more. For more information call 313-962-6540.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or

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