The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is, once again, attempting to push its self-interested agenda at the expense of small businesses and working families. SEIU has filed an initiative that would establish a per-employee “head tax” paid by every employer in the city of Seattle.
According to the Washington Policy Center, the “revenue generated by the new tax on employers would fund the city’s newly created Office of Labor Standards (OLS), which is charged with investigating and enforcing the city’s ever-growing list of labor laws, which currently include the $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid sick leave, criminal background and wage theft laws.” The OLS funds, in large part, the efforts of labor unions like SEIU.
Essentially, SEIU wants to increase taxes on employers in Seattle with the expectation that those tax dollars would end up filling its political war chest. Via the Washington Policy Center:
“Under SEIU’s proposed employee head tax, half of the tax revenue generated would be siphoned into “community-based employee advocate organizations,” such as labor unions, to perform outreach to employees to educate them about their rights. Forty percent of the tax would be earmarked to fund OLS enforcement of the city’s labor laws. A paltry 10% would be designated for OLS to fund contracts to perform outreach and education to employers about their obligations under the city’s slew of new labor laws.
“So employers would pay a per-employee tax, of which just 10% would be used to help them understand and comply with the city’s proliferating labor laws, while the other 90% would be used to encourage workers to file complaints against employers and investigate those complaints. As if Seattle is not already anti-business enough.”
SEIU is using the threat of a ballot initiative to pressure the Seattle City Council to pass the measure. Considering quite a few council members have already expressed their support, it won’t be a surprise if the strategy works and Seattle becomes even more anti-business.