Last month, researchers from the University of Washington informed the city of Seattle that despite the best efforts of the Service Employees International Union they had failed to repeal the law of supply and demand. Contrary to the promises of city government, the UW team—originally commissioned to study the effects of the measure by the city government—found that the union-backed minimum wage hike to $13/hour (en route to further increases to $15/hour) had reduced lower-wage employees’ earnings by $125 per month.
That entirely predictable finding contradicted one by the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), an outfit with ties to left-wing labor organizers and labor unions, released shortly before the UW research was published. At the time the UW research was published, there was speculation that the Berkeley team had been tipped off about the findings by the city government.
Now, emails obtained by the free-market Employment Policies Institute (EPI) through an open records request confirm those suspicions. They show that IRLE researchers were editing their press statements for the Berkeley study in close contact with the office of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s (D) office and even accelerated their timeline to meet the mayor’s needs.
But there’s an even more notable finding, as EPI’s Michael Saltsman notes at Forbes. The IRLE press statement was written by an operative with the controversial public relations firm BerlinRosen, which is notable for its close ties to the “Fight for $15″minimum wage campaign. more here