Fight for $15 Billionaire Won’t Hike Wages Until Feds Make Him

Nick Hanauer breaks silence on report of low wages at family business

March 9, 2016

Billionaire venture capitalist and dark money liberal activist Nick Hanauer broke his silence over his company’s failure to pay the $15 minimum wage he publicly supports.

Hanauer took to Twitter when confronted with the Washington Free Beacon’s report about wage rates at his family business. The Employment Policies Institute, a free market think tank, asked the company chairman "why do employees of his family biz make much less" than the "#Fightfor15" movement’s recommendations.

Hanauer blamed existing wage laws for the failure of the Pacific Coast Feather Co.’s unwillingness to pay all employees an entry level rate of at least $15.

"Because the min wage is 7.25 an hour. Make me raise wages by raising the minimum wage," Hanauer responded.

Hanauer is a leading member of the shadowy liberal network called the Democracy Alliance.

An employee at the company noted that entry level jobs at its North Carolina facilities were guided by the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and the Washington Free Beacon found several news and career websites reporting wages below the $15 rate. A company official declined to comment for the story.

Hanauer has been a vocal advocate to raise the minimum wage when it was debated in Seattle. He also signed on to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to raise it statewide after successfully mandating it for the fast food industry. He also persuaded the millionaires and billionaires at the Democracy Alliance to throw their weight behind the SEIU-backed Fight for $15 movement.

Hanauer, who became a billionaire through several tech ventures and investing early in Amazon, has said that it is one of the most important "moral issues" facing the country.

In previous interviews he has had little patience for policymakers, economists, and business leaders who endorse the common belief that a steep hike to the minimum wage could lead to job losses and higher prices. He slammed Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett for her reported skepticism about the $15 minimum wage when Hanauer met with her in 2012.

"That’s f---ed up! That’s f---ed up," he recalled to the Atlantic’s Molly Ball. "It’s bullshit. But that’s how deep that stuff goes."

Hanauer followed up the Twitter exchange regarding his company’s behavior by sending out an article from the liberal website Alternet headlined, "A $15 Minimum Wage Is What We Need‑and Here's Why the Attacks on It Are Bogus."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A $15 Minimum Wage Is What We Need - and Here&#39;s Why the Attacks on It Are Bogus | Alternet <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Nick Hanauer (@NickHanauer) <a href="">March 9, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Published under: Minimum Wage