Before the minimum wage law of $10.10 could take effect, Birmingham, Alabama workers were frustrated when it was turned down by the state legislature.
Workers were elated when the bill was passed by the local city council on August last year. But they did not expect that it will be shot down just by the higher body of lawmakers.
The state legislature had its own plans when it, together with the state governor, rapidly passed a bill that prevented any local city from implementing its own minimum wage law, and that includes the new law of Birmingham.
There's nothing the Birmingham's city council could do but say that the lawmakers had "dealt a severe blow to the working-class citizens" of the city and the entire state.
The existing wage law in Alabama calls for employers to pay a minimum of $7.25 per hour to wage earners. Alabama legislators would want this rate to be followed by every local city in the state.
Alabama follows the Uniform Minimum Wage and Right-to Work-Act which does not allow cities from implementing their own minimum wage. The state has no state minimum wage in place so the $7.25 minimum rate is enforced.
The bill stopping the implementation of Birmingham, Alabama's $10.10 minimum wage was approved by the state senate which was readily signed by Gov. Robert Bentley.
"This is a clear indication that the plight of the working class is of no relevance to the GOP," said Jonathan Austin, President of the Birmingham City Council in a released statement.
"Never before in the history of Alabama's post-segregation era has a bill so detrimental to the very people who most of us depend on daily-the cooks, the waiters and busboys at our favorite restaurants, the barista at our neighborhood coffee shop, the caddy at the local country club and the maids at the hotels that help to boost our local economy-been fast-tracked in the state legislature," he lamented.