Austin might require an $11 minimum wage for incentive deals

Austin is poised to require any company seeking city financial incentives to pay all workers, including construction workers, at least $11 an hour under all but exceptional circumstances. Three City Council members say the city should add a “living wage” requirement to any economic development deal that involves waiving city taxes. City officials, labor advocates and business groups have been wrangling over the idea behind closed doors for nearly a year, even as a high-profile wage dispute dragged on between the city and the developer of a downtown JW Marriott hotel. Ultimately, the unusual Marriott incentive deal fell apart; after hasty negotiations about what the developer would pay its workers, the city concluded some workers were being paid less than required and canceled $3.8 million in fee waivers, a decision now being disputed in court.

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