Senator Eldridge arrested as part of yesterday’s disruption protests for higher wages

by beth on November 30, 2016

Post image for Senator Eldridge arrested as part of yesterday’s disruption protests for higher wages

Above: Senator Eldridge was arrested on Tuesday while protesting for $15 minimum wage. (images from tweets, left by @fightfor15mass, right by @JamieEldridgeMA)

Yesterday our State Senator was arrested.

No, it’s not a case of legislative corruption. In fact, Senator James Eldridge’s arrest was apparently pre-planned. And it looks like he considers it a political badge of honor.

The Senator tweeted throughout the day. After his release, he announced:

I was released w/ my fellow #Fightfor15 protesters at 4:30 today fr/ Middlesex Ct in Medford, proud to stand up on #livingwage Day of Action

Yesterday, proponents for a $15 minimum wage held “disruption” protests around the country and multiple events in Massachusetts. Southborough Wicked Local covered yesterday morning’s protest in Cambridge and Eldridge’s arrest:

Cambridge police arrested a state senator at a protest outside a McDonald’s restaurant early Tuesday morning, according to the senator’s office, which said he was the only elected official among the 36 people arrested at the protest over wages.

An outspoken liberal who was protesting for higher wages and workers’ rights, Sen. Jamie Eldridge is an Acton Democrat and co-chairman of the Committee on Financial Services. Eldridge was arrested for civil disobedience, according to his office.

“I’m very proud of the brave workers for having the courage to stand up to billionaire corporations and to fight for what they deserve,” Eldridge said in a statement. “Big corporations have been exploiting lower-wage workers for decades, forcing people to work long hours and tough schedules without receiving fair holiday or sick pay, and without receiving a living wage.”

The Massachusetts minimum wage on Jan. 1 rises to $11 an hour, the last of three, statutory annual $1 increments. Low-wage workers in late 2012 launched a national campaign in pursuit of a $15 an hour wage floor. Bills calling for a $15 an hour wage failed to gain traction on Beacon Hill this session.

Rep. Michelle DuBois, a Brockton Democrat who was at the protest and watched the arrests happen, said those who wanted to participate in a “planned arrest” sat down in the street as Cambridge police diverted traffic down the road. . .

Estimating about 250 to 300 protestors participated, Cambridge Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert said police knew ahead of time that once officers gave the order to clear the street 36 protesters would remain to be arrested, which is what happened.

Click here to read that full story.

Early yesterday morning, prior to his arrest, Eldridge tweeted:

After his arrest (but apparently prior to release), he continued to tweet:

1 Frank Crowell November 30, 2016 at 12:47 PM

I hope Mr Eldridge will speak to small business owners about how this and many business regulations that do nothing but put more people out of work (or some business out of business). Or better yet, maybe he can focus his attention on saving our golf course. Open space is better issue for him to tackle. It is also a two for one – he’ll be saving the climate as well (more grass = less CO2).

2 Anne Jones November 30, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Good for Jamie Eldridge. When workers are paid a decent minimum wage, society and the economy benefit. Poorly paid workers have little money to spend on products and services, including those provided by small businesses.

3 Dean Dairy December 1, 2016 at 12:40 AM

Sen. Eldridge: “We all deserve a basic quality of life where our hard work is paid with wages that allow us to grow and to seek other opportunities.”

Unfortunately, it’s the onslaught of mandates imposed on private employers by grandstanding politicians like Sen. Eldridge that deny workers those better opportunities. A hike in the minimum wage floor is a blunt tool poorly suited to increase the average income of full-time workers, and comes at the cost of choking-off entry-level opportunities that prepare workers for the next step on the income ladder.

What truly moves the average market wages higher for everyone seeking work is robust economic growth that increases the demand for labor at every level of productivity. It certainly is not politicians attempting to force employers to pay a couple extra dollars per hour at lowest end of the productivity scale amidst a dwindling demand.

Worse, it’s the other growth-killing policies of politicians like Sen. Eldridge that inhibit the economic expansion needed to create those better opportunities that pay above whatever minimum wage he would impose.

Time for Sen. Eldridge to set a better example than being arrested in the street by operating a small business that compensates its employees according to his stated values out of his own income stream, instead of using the iron fist of government against those intrepid enough to hire workers at their own risk.

4 louise barron December 1, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Address a pertinent problem in his district, in this town. Don’t be ridiculous. Keep voting for draining our dollars democrats.

5 Southville December 1, 2016 at 10:48 AM

His district does span 14 towns, and every single one of them has jobs that pay low wages. I would imagine that a lot of people in the 14 towns do find this to be a pertinent problem.

And plenty of people don’t see it as draining our dollars, they see it as a possible boon to the economy, as it would give more people a way to participate more fully in the economy.

A few interesting points from the department of labor here if anyone is interested:
https://www.dol.gov/featured/minimum-wage/mythbuster

6 Frank Crowell December 1, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Yeah – that department will have a new boss on January 20 due to the fine job they have done in the last eight years – particularly in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The times they are a changing and not a minute too soon.

7 louise barron December 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Amen to Frank. Clean out the sewer.

8 Donna McDaniel December 1, 2016 at 3:56 PM

Thank you, Senator!
Wish they’d ID you with more than one town (especially for
people who have only a vague idea of life out here past
Rte. 128!) We elected you, too! (Not all but enough, it appears.)

9 Will.B December 1, 2016 at 10:50 PM

There’s a reason why they call it flipping burgers….you want more money? Stop being lazy, go better yourself and get a higher paying job and stop crying about it.

10 Matthew Brownell December 2, 2016 at 12:08 PM

Would that far-Left shills like Jamie Eldridge be required to start and manage a business, take responsibility for a P&L, and make payroll – prior to demonizing businesses, levying a PEZ-dispenser of social-engineering and business regulations, and opening their pie-hole about “unjust” or “unequal” opportunities that they never had a hand in creating in the first place .

Flipping burgers and filling ketchup dispensers at McDonald’s was never meant to be a permanent career choice with a bevy of entitlements. It is simply one of many entry-level jobs on the first rung of life’s ladder.

The calculus of artificially raising the minimum wage to $15 is simple. It will:
– reduce the number of entry-level jobs available
– eliminate entry-level workers in venues where automation can be introduced
– metastasize into higher prices for the goods/services we purchase

Of course, this is all lost or impertinent to career Lefties and political lapdog Democrats like Senator Eldridge, who’ve made a perennial industrial state out of intruding on free markets, leveraging ever-higher taxes to provide Free Stuff to their voting constituencies, and establishing a central, lifelong hegemony of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats and policy wonks.

Get Better, Senator Eldridge.. .

There is a reason why older and wiser Bostonians refer to Cambridge as “7 square miles surrounded by reality”

11 Kelly Roney December 5, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Y’know, we’ve had 35 years of Republican economics – much lower negotiating power for labor and net loss in buying power at minimum wage – and what’s happened instead of nirvana is that all of the income gains have gone to the top 10% (which I’m happy to be in), but most of all the gains have gone to the top 0.01%.

Maybe it’s time we tried something else.

12 Dean Dairy December 6, 2016 at 11:57 AM

Kelly, word-for-word: is that a Trump speech you’re quoting diagnosing the economic problems facing America?

Unfortunately, as far as a “solution,” despite wherever the minimum wage is finally set an increase won’t improve people’s “buying power” below the minimum wage –$0.00 per hour — also known as unemployment. And that problem becomes worse the higher you set it.

Fortunately, while you agree with Trump’s diagnosis, he understands the limitations of the minimum wage prescription and the need for expansion of the domestic economy.

The real issue is a dearth of demand for skilled workers relative to supply, particularly above whatever minimum wage politicians can impose without doing grievous harm to those below that statutory minimum wage. Because of the minimum wage’s contradictions and limitations, it will never be an effective economic tool to increase average incomes.

The minimum wage is a proscription, a prohibition, much like child labor laws, intended to actually outlaw certain practices believed too odious to allow. One example: a student answering phone part-time in an office after school for less than $15 per hour is NOT one of those practices, and to actually prohibit that by law hurts both sides of that free transaction.

If anything, the minimum wage is the last refuge of scoundrel politicians unwilling to try “something else”.

Good to see you’re on the “Trump Train,” though! ;-)

13 Tristen December 10, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Thank you to Jamie. So many people appreciate you for standing up for the real working class.There are a lot of problems now, with more to come. Keep protecting what little we have today,, the government won’t.

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