Currently, two committees are studying the living wage and paid sick days for low-wage workers employed by contractors who do business with the County of Santa Clara. If passed, the county ordinance would primarily impact the tens of thousands of workers employed by businesses and organizations that serve as vendors, receive subsidies from the county or pay below market rents for county owned property.
“The idea is to create an economy where everyone is self-sufficient,” said Ben Field, executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council.
On June 1, 2014, Santa Clara County took the next step towards creating the nation’s most comprehensive living wage ordinance, which would guarantee earned sick leave and other fair job standards for tens of thousands of Silicon Valley workers.
“As the primary provider of safety net services, the County has both a moral and a financial incentive to do what we can to promote fair pay for hard work,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Yeager, who along with Supervisor Dave Cortese co-authored the Board referral to study the ordinance. “Other living wage ordinances have improved the lives of workers at little or no cost to taxpayers. I want to engage local stakeholders to explore the options and implications of such an ordinance here.”
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About the Silicon Valley Living Wage Coalition
Santa Clara County members of SEIU Local 521 joined other labor advocates, community based organizations and policy groups to put our Community First and support a comprehensive Silicon Vally Living Wage.
The Silicon Valley Living Wage would set a new standard of higher wages, healthcare security and a better standard of living for tens of thousands of low-wage workers employed by contractors who do business with the County of Santa Clara. The proposal comes at a time of increasing public discourse about income inequality, when Silicon Valley has become ground zero for the growing disparity between haves and have-nots.