Fair Wage Initiative Filed in Eureka California


Fair Wage Initiative Filed in Eureka California

Press Contact: Kimberly Starr (707) 442-7465, eurekafairwageact@gmail.com

Humboldt Co, CA: The Eureka Fair Wage Act, requiring large employers to pay a minimum of 12 dollars per hour, was filed and fees paid with the Eureka City Clerk’s office on Wednesday, July 25th.

Eureka residents active with Occupy Eureka, Veterans for Peace, Richardson Grove Action Now, PEOPLE PROJECT, and Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community, filed the Eureka Fair Wage Act due to prolonged wage stagnation, poverty levels highest in the state (1), and the recent invasion by Walmart, a company characterized by theFair Wage Act proponents as “the most abusive and criminal retail outfit in the world.”

This has been a powerful week for working class people, Tuesday July 24th being a National Day of Action to raise the federal minimum wage followed by the Eureka Fair Wage Act being filed in northern California. Proponents anticipate false claims from large companies and politicians about how awful the raise in the minimum wage will be for working people, but extensive research shows that a weak minimum wage increases poverty and shatters families. According to the National EmploymentLaw Project (NELP), no minimum wage worker, at 40 hours a week, can afford a two bedroom rental at Fair Market Price. “Higher wages improve lives and boost the local economy,” says Eureka resident and Fair Wage proponent Bill Holmes.

The proponents took input from groups including the Humboldt/Del Norte Central Labor Council and the National Employment Law Project, and inspiration from similar efforts, successful around the state and country. Small businesses, employing less than 25 people, are exempt from the Eureka Fair Wage Act, and there will be a phase in time of 18 months for larger non-profits so they can adjust their grant funding.

KimberlyStarr, a volunteer with Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community and signatory to the initiative spoke to television cameras before the filing. “We know that this filing is a step toward uniting working class people in this area to stand up for ourselves, to insist on our DIGNITY, to build strong forces, to oppose predatory corporations like Walmart, and refuse to labor for the purpose of filling the CEO’s or the boss’s pockets and bank accounts, while we get next tonothing.”

JamesDecker, local activist and member of Occupy Eureka, U.S Air Force veteran and home healthcare worker declared after signing the initiative: “With the Fair Wage Act we are taking action to stop the flow of dollars … to Wall Street and the investment bankers, keeping these dollars here in the local community. We have targeted larger employers that have the ability to pay a fair wage. We are going to force the ‘Walmarts of the world’ to be good neighbors or go back to Arkansas.”

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*Websitefor the Initiative: eurekafairwageact.wordpress.com

*Textof the proposed initiative, Eureka Fair Wage Act:https://www.box.com/s/3ad802141c0c0260f300

*Videoof the statements made at the filing can be found here:


*Photosfrom the filing available on request.

1 Humboldt County’s poverty level at 19.2% is seven points higher than the statewide average which is 12.4%, ranking Humboldt County as 56th poorest of 58 CA counties. While wages and employment are down, corporate profits are thriving.

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4 Responses to “Fair Wage Initiative Filed in Eureka California”

  1. So, beside WalMart who else would fall under this? Would IHSS Care Providers, even though they technically fall under the State, over 1500 Care Providers in the County. Or, is this limited to just attacking WalMart because you do not agree with it?

  2. Hello Charles,

    Thanks for your interest in the Eureka Fair Wage Initiative.

    It will apply to Walmart as well as any employer in the city of Eureka with 25 or more employees.

    There is an exemption clause for bona fide collective bargaining agreements so if the CUHW signs a contract the IHSS workers will not be covered. At any rate only the IHSS workers who work in Eureka would be covered.

    We certainly hope that the IHSS workers and the union will support our efforts, as we support the idea of raising wages for all workers, and the IHSS workers certainly deserve more than $8.00 an hour.

    While all big box stores are somewhat negative for a local sustainable economy Walmart has proven to be the most predatory and destructive of all of them. The people of Eureka have spoken to this already, and we think they will do so again with the same result.

    If you can help with our effort please email eurekafairwageact@gmail.com we need your skill set.

  3. “The Santa Fe metropolitan area provides an ongoing real-time experiment in the impact of a fairly high minimum wage on the economy. Santa Fe currently has the strongest economy in New Mexico. Since April of this year, Santa Fe employers have been required to pay a minimum wage of $10.29 an hour.

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