It was following the recent election that four states approved the bringing in of an increased minimum wage in 2017. Liberal activists were largely behind the support for this.
This is despite the fact that increases in minimum wage have actually harmed workers more than it has helped them, as businesses cannot survive with such large labor costs and are forced to shut down. In Hollywood, several theatres were forced to shut down for this very reason.
A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit that would have prevented Actors’ Equity from requiring small L.A.-based theater companies that sign its contract to pay their actors at least minimum wage.
The suit, whose lead plaintiff was former SAG President Ed Asner, argued that forcing small companies to pay minimum wage will put many of them out of business, thus reducing opportunities for local actors. Actors currently make as little as $7 a day at some small venues. Beginning January 1, the minimum wage in California will be $10.50 an hour.
Declaring the “case closed,” U.S. District Court Judge Terry Hatter dismissed the lawsuit today “without prejudice,” meaning that the plaintiffs can file suit again if they so desire.
“The dismissal of this lawsuit, which we had always viewed as a frivolous and costly legal matter, is a victory for our union,” said Equity executive director Mary McColl. “Not everyone in our union agreed with changes in policy that our council put in place in April of 2015. We understand those opposing views, however many of our members needed more than the nominal performance stipends, which had been the longtime practice. These are not unpaid internships – this is work. Now that this matter has been addressed internally and validated by a federal court ruling, we can devote our energies to working with Los Angeles’ theater producers to help them find the best ways to employ our members.” – Deadline
What are your thoughts on this?