No one should be at all surprised that the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is supportive of the proposed new mandatory sick leave ordinance sponsored by Councilors Ken Sanchez and Don Harris.
(See December 22, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, Business Section, page A-12, “Paid Sick Leave Redux”)
Sherman McCorkle, the Chamber of Commerce’s well known Republican political operative seems to like the new ordinance as well.
You got to ask why, given their strong opposition to the Healthy Work Force Ordinance which was defeated by less than 800 votes in then October, 2017 municipal election.
Least anyone forgets, Sherman McCorkle endorsed and supported County Commissioner Wayne Johnson for Mayor.
Wayne Johnson was a huge opponent of the Heathy Work Force Ordinance and actually went to District Court hearings that were held to keep it off the 2016 general election ballot fearing it would pass.
McCorkle also opposed the ballot Healthy Workforce voter initiative.
McCorkle says “This is incredibly more business-friendly than the prior one. … This is much more fair and is something that the (chamber of commerce) board would look very favorably on”.
McCorkle and the Chamber are downright “sneaky” when they say it is “much more fair” and saying they would look more favorably on it.
The reason why they are “sneaky” is because they know damn well very few employees will be covered by the new ordinance and it will only affect businesses that employ 50 or more people, meaning only 6% of all employees in Albuquerque will be covered.
The truth is 94% percent of all employers in Bernalillo County have fewer than 50 workers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 there were 15,746 private sector establishment in Bernalillo County and of those, 14,846 had fewer than 50 employees meaning that a grand total of 900 had 50 or more workers.
Elizabeth Wagoner, an attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, told the City Council that the ordinance if enacted will be one of the weakest in the country and said 28 other cities and nine states have paid sick leave laws.
Wagoner said proposed ordinance “excludes many part time workers, most of whom want full time jobs or work multiple jobs to make ends meet. It excludes between 90 to 95 percent of Albuquerque businesses from coverage altogether. And it denies coverage for many important family caregiving relationships.”
And the Chamber wonders why it is losing membership and so much credibility with the community.