minimum wage org tries to pay less than minimum wage

Progressive Group Campaigning For $20 Minimum Wage Wants To Pay Webmaster $13 An Hour

A group pushing for a $20 per hour national minimum wage is seeking to hire a web developer at only $13 an hour.

The Freedom Socialist Party, which supported Seattle’s new $15 minimum hourly wage that takes effect in April 2015, posted an ad on Craigslist for a graphic designer/web content manager.

While the job description claims the $13 an hour rate is negotiable, there are some non-negotiable conditions: the position is part-time only (i.e., suggesting no employer-provided health insurance), and the 20 hours per week must be performed in the organization’s Seattle branch rather than on a telecommuting basis. The job is also non-union.

The Freedom Socialist Party operates the website socialism.com, where it describes itself as, among other things, being dedicated to establishing a genuine workers’ democracy that will provide full economic rights to those who are exploited and oppressed by capitalism. According to its 2012 platform, the party wants to “Raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour,” “Provide a guaranteed annual income,” and “Free medical care for all.”

Reacting to the Craigslist ad for the $13 an hour webmaster, Reason observed that “Although the average annual salary of a web developer in the U.S. is around $62,500, the Freedom Socialist Party only wants to pay $13 an hour, which would be $26,000 a year. Except that the party won’t hire someone full-time, so their next web developer’s total compensation won’t even be that modest chunk of change. Perhaps they’re just trying to protect their employees from the temptations of ‘capitalist greed.'”

A Freedom Socialist Party official told the Huffington Post that “We’re practicing what we’re preaching in terms of continuing to fight for the minimum wage. But we can’t pay a lot more than $13.” Apparently social media criticism prompted the organization to drop the $13 an hour starting pay rate from the ad, however.

In general, the business community across the country opposes raising the minimum hourly wage during a down economy because it claims that some establishments will be forced to shut their doors as a result of added labor costs. One argument for increasing the minimum wage, however, is that the boost might encourage low-income individuals to get off government provided welfare and become productive in the marketplace. While some employers clearly exploit workers in terms of low pay, an argument against raising the minimum wage by government edict is that it would discourage employers who otherwise operate in good faith from hiring lesser-skilled workers for entry level positions, which is what the minimum wage was originally designed for.

Do you think there is any hypocrisy in play when a minimum wage advocate tries to hire someone for less than its desired minimum wage?

[image via Shutterstock]

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