The bar that employed AOC before her entry into politics closed back in March – with the co-owner explicitly citing the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage as the reason why. AOC stopped the restaurant the policy she supports killed one last time after its closure was announced to “say hi one last time.” At least in that case no particular action of AOC led to the bar’s closure, even though she did support hiking the minimum wage in the way that NYC did, it’s not like she had the ability to vote on it.
In the latest case, a handful of workers inspired by AOC took bold progressive actions – resulting in unemployment. As VICE reported:
In late April, a group of New York City construction workers, inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s vision for a Green New Deal, voted to form one of the first unions in the solar energy industry. On Monday, their employer Bright Power fired its entire in-house construction crew and announced that those workers, in the midst of negotiations for their first contract, would be replaced with subcontractors.
VICE tells us that Bright Power is a fast growing company, but doesn’t mention that when it comes to businesses in the technology sector, “fast growing” is often synonymous with unprofitable (as all money is being reinvested in growth). In that context, it’s hardly surprising that a company wouldn’t want to pay artificially high prices for labor when they aren’t making money.
Even if Bright Power were profitable (and we don’t know if they are, because they’re a private company), they wouldn’t be for long if the unionized employees got their way. While most workers at Bright earned between $16-18 an hour, the unionized employees were pushing for “at least” $56 an hour (plus healthcare, pension, and 401k benefits) – which is the insanely inflated minimum wage paid to electricians who work on government projects in NYC. Wages like that are why it can cost $2 million to build a park bathroom in NYC.
That unionization causes job losses is an obvious bet to make. A Heritage Foundation study with data up until 2010 showed that when it came to declining manufacturing in America, the decline was almost isolated to union manufacturing.
In response to learning the consequences of per policies, AOC said that Bright Power must be “held accountable.”
Unfortunately for AOC, they already were accountable to the laws of economics.
Many have told me they think the pro-justice & worker provisions in the Green New Deal are “unnecessary.”
Yet this example is why a just transition is vital. Without it, oil barons turn into energy barons, & workers are hurt all the same.
Bright Power must be held accountable. https://t.co/HmP3IOAyzF
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 22, 2019
Put metaphorically; AOC swung a bat at businessmen – and she’s angry that they ducked.
Who knew you can’t just demand that your employer triple your pay overnight?