Partnership Community Benefits Model Brings Living Wage to Travis County, Texas

December 18, 2012 -- Partnership for Working Families

The Partnership’s community benefits model is taking hold in new cities. The Workers Defense Project and the local branch of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), both Partnership allies, have been working hard to ensure that working people in Travis County, Texas are afforded the compensation and respect that they deserve. In fighting for living wage policies, they’ve employed the same model pioneered by the Partnership network to embrace the power of local citizens to influence the business practices of their communities. Good business does not and should not come at the expense of workers and job quality. They’ve mobilized worker and community support to advocate for these policies that will hold companies accountable to responsible business practices.  

In late November Travis County commissioners approved a living wage requirement for all workers of companies that operate in the region, including construction workers. The Austin City Council (located in the county) has recommended a similar policy. The area has been particularly attractive to companies looking to grow because of the generous tax breaks that the local government offers them. But, as more companies have flooded the region to take advantage of these economic incentive deals, bringing large construction projects and promises of more jobs with them, local construction workers have been overlooked and left to work for poverty wages. The vigilant mobilization of worker and community support has sought to correct this. 

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