Originally Published on July 20th 2014 by Jeff Roby of the St. Petersburg Green Party
On July 19, 15 community and labor activists from St. Petersburg, Tampa and Orlando gathered at St. Petersburg’s North Branch Library to formally launch the Tampa Bay chapter of 15 Now.
Organizations represented included Socialist Alternative, the Green Party of Florida, and the National Organization for Women.
After a review of some of the history of the struggle presented by Ryan Wiggins, the attendees discussed how to proceed. It was noted that the responses to the fight had been enthusiastic across the state, with interest stretching from Jacksonville to Miami, but so far strongest in the Tampa Bay area.
Various issues were put on the table. The Florida State Constitution, Article X, Section 24(a) states:
“PUBLIC POLICY. All working Floridians are entitled to be paid a minimum wage that is sufficient to provide a decent and healthy life for them and their families.”
But Statute 218.077(2) states:
“Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), a political subdivision may not establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employer to pay a minimum wage, other than a state or federal minimum wage, to apply a state or federal minimum wage to wages exempt from a state or federal minimum wage, or to provide employment benefits not otherwise required by state or federal law.”
The contradiction is obvious.