Oped Archive

  • Flat-wage, no-tipping experiments flop at city restaurants

    August 2022 ·  Rebekah Paxton ·  Crain's New York Business

    Effective July 1, David Chang’s Momofuku Ko reversed an experiment to eliminate tipping to maintain menu prices and “increase total [employee] compensation.” What changed? Management found the flat-wage system caused a “complete turnover” of service staff. New York legislators facing calls to pursue a similar policy statewide should take note. Chang’s restaurant isn’t the first to learn this lesson the hard way. After Danny Meyer’s Union Square…
  • Economists agree $15-an-hour would harm America’s economy

    May 2022 ·  Lloyd Corder ·  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    From worker shortages to historic inflation, Americans are concerned about the economy. While there are many disputes about what the right solution should be, economists agree about one thing: A $15 federal wage is not the answer. In fact, it could make matters worse. To get a better understanding of the current consensus, my team conducted a survey of 160 leading American economists to find out if…
  • Opinion: Starbucks baristas who join a union may not get what they bargained for

    April 2022 ·  Michael Saltsman ·  Detroit News

    Your morning coffee at Starbucks could soon come with a union label. Employees at more than 200 Starbucks locations nationwide have filed petitions for union elections, seeking representation by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate Workers United. Associates at several stores have already opted to join the union. This burst of barista organizing activity has energized a labor movement in desperate need of good news. Recent data from the Bureau of…
  • Big Labor’s Resurgence That Wasn’t

    January 2022 ·  Michael Saltsman ·  Wall Street Journal

    Union membership in the private sector fell to 6.1%, a historic low. The Economist predicts “2022 will be the year of the worker.” Interest in organizing is “infectiously spreading from workplace to workplace,” the New Republic claims, concluding: “America is in the midst of a dramatic labor resurgence.” New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics throw cold water on these predictions. The annual BLS report on…
  • Job-killing wage mandates set to sweep the country

    December 2021 ·  Michael Saltsman and Rebekah Paxton ·  Orange County Register

    More than 80 states and localities will raise minimum wages on New Year’s Day, an ill-timed mandate if there ever was one. Inflation-linked increases are particularly steep this year, rising nearly five percent on average in more than 55 states and localities that raise wages with the Consumer Price Index (as compared to 1.7 percent last year). In left-of-center locales, these scheduled increases are no longer sufficient:…
  • Lorena Gonzalez once again puts union power ahead of workers

    May 2021 ·  Michael Saltsman and Rebekah Paxton ·  Orange County Register

    Leave it to Lorena Gonzalez to name a bill the FAST Recovery Act even though it would slow the state’s economic rebound. Gonzalez, D-Organized Labor, is best known as the author of Assembly Bill 5, which gained national notoriety after it stripped countless freelancers of their incomes. Voters in 2020 delivered a resounding verdict on the law’s applicability to “gig workers,” approving the Proposition 22 ballot measure which…