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Statement from Borough President Diaz RE: Scheduled Hearing on ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act
Office of the Bronx Borough President

October 17, 2011
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“I thank City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for scheduling a hearing for November 22 on the amended ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act, and I look forward to testifying. Supporters of this bill have been very mindful of the concerns of our opposition, and we believe that the changes to this bill show a serious effort to address the issues raised. Given that, I hope that opponents of this important bill will now sign on in support of it.

“When significant taxpayer funding is used to make private projects a reality, developers must do better by the people they employ. The ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act will ensure that happens,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which was introduced into the City Council at the behest of Borough President Diaz, would require developers that receive heavy taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a “living wage.” The bill, which was introduced by Council Members Annabel Palma and G. Oliver Koppell on behalf of the borough president, currently has 30 City Council co-sponsors.

In May, a poll by Baruch College Survey Research was released, showing that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support such “living wage” laws. The survey showed that 78 percent of New Yorkers agree with requiring employers that get taxpayer-funded city subsidies to pay $10-an-hour plus benefits, while just 15 percent do not. This includes 83 percent of all Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Republicans.