Updates to Economic Incentives Proposed
The city of Austin will soon consider changes to its economic incentives program, which aims to lure companies to move here. Today a committee drafted recommendations about living wages, training and workers’ rights.
The committee heard from workers and business leaders about the proposal to require companies pay workers at least $11 per hour to qualify for incentives. Guillermo Perez, a construction worker, says that would pull him out of poverty.
“My son is on a crossroads right now, whether to go to school or help me out,” Perez said. “It’s hard. All I’m asking is to recognize the value and the work of the labor force because I am the labor force.”
Some small business owners said the wage requirement would hurt them.
The recommendations include several other ideas, such as asking companies to provide domestic partner benefits and more training for workers. Companies who hire “hard to employ populations,” like people with disabilities or ex-prisoners, could get exemptions.