Members of the Working Families Party and local unions protested Saturday on East Center Street outside the law offices of Manchester’s Republican Mayor Louis Spadaccini, whose party wants to overturn the town’s two-year living wage ordinance.
Mike Pohl, Manchester’s Democratic Town Committee chairman, said Republicans are trying to abolish the ordinance before a report on the fiscal impact of the living wage comes out in September.
Republicans say having to work out exemptions and waivers for companies doing business with the town just dilutes the ordinance and makes it inefficient.
In June Cigna Corp., which administers the town’s health insurance, asked for a waiver to the ordinance, which calls for all companies with contracts or tax abatements worth more than $25,000 and more than 25 employees to certify that all its employees make $11.64 an hour with benefits and $14 an hour without benefits.
Pohl said Cigna is having problems with the reporting requirements because it has more than 14,000 employees nationwide. He said he’s confident that Cigna’s Connecticut employees are in compliance with the living wage law and the modification its requested shouldn’t be used as an excuse by Republicans to completely abolish the living wage ordinance.
Manchester’s Board of Directors is expected to discuss the living wage ordinance 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, in the Lincoln Center Hearing Room.