Policy: Labor

Oops! Minimum-wage activist group sends out press release quoting 'WORKER'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,Economy,Minimum Wage

Always re-read before you hit that send button. If a staffer at Raise Michigan, a liberal coalition dedicated to hiking the minimum wage in the Wolverine State, had done that, the group would not have sent out a press release with a quote attributed simply to "WORKER."

That happened Monday, when the group sent out a statement that included the following line:

"My family can’t survive on $7.40 an hour," said WORKER, "It's not fair that I work full-time, and be living in poverty. Everyone who is working full-time deserves to live with dignity."

The Detroit News, which first reported the group's use of the canned, made-up quote, noted: "[I]t was surprising when Raise Michigan corrected its release a couple of hours later not by supplying a quote from a suffering worker but by providing a slightly readjusted statement from a minister at an unidentified church."

Well, maybe not that surprising. The fact that the Raise Michigan is struggling to find an actual, breathing worker willing to have the quote attributed to them suggests that it is less a genuine grassroots movement and more of an astroturf PR group. In fact, a key member of the Raise Michigan coalition is the Restaurant Opportunities Center, which was founded with help from the food service and hospitality industry union, Unite Here.

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