Spokane voters mull 'Worker Bill of Rights' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane voters mull 'Worker Bill of Rights'

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In Spokane, more than 150,000 people will vote on Proposition One, which is also known as the Worker Bill of Rights. In Spokane, more than 150,000 people will vote on Proposition One, which is also known as the Worker Bill of Rights.

In Spokane, more than 150,000 people will vote on Proposition One, which is also known as the Worker Bill of Rights.

It consists of four different parts: increasing minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, protecting workers against wrongful termination, and putting workers’ rights before corporations’. But some say the effects could change the city and outlying areas.

“I think a lot of people have the idea that it's only going to affect Spokane but it's going to affect everybody,” says Scott Cook, owner of Ambrosia.

Cook has a small business. And he says even though the minimum wage part of Prop 1 only affects companies with 150 or more employees, it will have a bad trickle down effect on all businesses in Spokane and nearby areas.

“If I have $12 or $13 an hour and McDonald's is paying $17 an hour in Spokane, they're not going to work for me. They're going to go there,” Cook says.

And he says businesses will have to raise their wages to stay competitive, which would increase costs across the board.

But Kai Huschke, a supporter, says this isn't the case.

“So other places who have raised wages have shown it's actually boosted their economy, helped them out and there hasn't been a mass exodus of business,” Huschke says.

He says Spokane needs fairness so families can pay their bills.

“Minimum wage doesn't cut it. It’s a poverty wage. Unfortunately we've been living under a system for decades now...that has lagged most specifically in the realm of income equity,” he says.

But Cook says he would have to close his doors if this were to pass.

“Everything that I have is on the line for the restaurant and it isn't fair to me or for me or for the other hundreds of small business owners in Spokane so that everything they worked so hard to achieve is being taken away," he says.

If Prop 1 passes, the changes wouldn’t be implemented until 2018.

To learn more about both sides of the proposition:

Yes on Prop 1 http://www.envisionworkerrights.org/

No on Prop 1 http://www.protectspokanejobs.com/

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