Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Projects Should Hire City Workers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Projects Should Hire City Workers

Article excerpt

The St. Louis unit of ACORN is distributing petitions that call for requiring companies that get city subsidies to hire city residents. The petitioners also want the city to require the companies to pay a so-called living wage of $7.50 per hour.

ACORN is on target on the first point, but it is wrong to assume city officials can dictate wage policies of private businesses - beyond insisting that companies pay the federal minimum wage.

In 1987, the city approved an ordinance, pushed by ACORN, to require companies receiving city subsidies to hire from what's called a First Source registry of jobless city residents. That was a good law. It is part of the reason many service industries that have received city tax breaks and subsidies - including some hotels and restaurants - tend to give some of their jobs to unemployed city residents.

The community group claims that 40 of 70 companies that have First Source agreements have not met their commitments. …

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