Amid the largest spike in COVID deaths in Maine, as Portland residents are forced to work in the most dangerous conditions of our lives, the Chamber of Commerce has sent in their well-heeled lawyers to undermine the will of the voters and defend low wages at companies like Whole Foods, a multinational corporation owned by the richest man in the world.
While we risk our lives for wages that don’t buy enough groceries to last the week, cover our health care bills, or even stay at home when we have to quarantine, the Chamber of Commerce is going to court to fight for the international stakeholders of big box stores, fast food franchises, and other corporate chains and to protect the multi-million dollar salaries of private health insurance executives.
The Chamber is doing this against the clear will and intent of over 62% of Portland voters who sent an unequivocal message: hazard pay for work performed during a declared state of emergency will be enacted immediately.
The Chamber has been on the wrong side of history since they asked the Klu Klux Klan to help them eliminate the elected Mayor over 100 years ago in order to form a “businesse’s government,” and they remain on the wrong side today. As they scheme with the city to deny us our rightful wages, we stand firm that on December 6th, employers must pay no less than $18.00 an hour.
The Chamber of Commerce and our city officials know they have already lost the battle for the hearts and minds of Portland. We are the backbone of this city and we will continue to fight and win in the ballot box, on the shop floor, in the streets and in the courts,” according to a press release received from the People First Portland coalition today.
The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court today by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, SLAB, LLC; Nosh, LLC’ Gritty McDuff’s; Play it Again Sports and the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services in Maine. The defendants in the filing are the City of Portland and city manager Jon Jennings. The lawsuit calls to schedule a telephonic conference with counsel to discuss an expedited schedule to resolve the issue.
“The Republican Press Herald” is one of the allies of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce in its opposition to this ordinance, although it is not one of the plaintiffs in the case. The editorial page editor. Mr. Quiche, expressed the page’s opposition to Questions A – E, proposed by the People First Portland coalition, prior to the November 3rd election. Most city council members and the Mayor are opposed to this ordinance as well. District 1 City Councilor Belinda Ray issued her own statement opposed to the People First Portland ordinances that were passed by Portland voters last month. (The short-term rental proposal lost by a small margin following a recount ). Councilor Ray is a small town woman with small town ideas according to a press release issued by munjoyhillnews.com to munjoyhillnews.com today.
Please see posts herein dated November 10, 2020 on the City Council’s Attempt to Push Hazard Pay off for Fourteen Months, a post dated November 4, 2020 on the People First Portland Claim Historic Victory on Four Referenda. Also please visit the original People First Portland post dated June 10, 2020 herein for more background information.