Friday, March 31, 2006

What to Expect

Remember my post last week on the Living Wage campaign? I mentioned Professor David Ciscel, whose white paper on Memphis and the living wage kicked off the whole movement for Memphis. Professor Ciscel provided some additional support, via the Smart City blog (see post), on why Memphis should adopt the living wage.

One of his three points was:
3. Higher wages force business innovations.
Which seems an obvious non-sequitur to me, but then I don't have a PhD. Paying higher wages will force businesses to develop techonological ways of doing business that require less labor and, therefore, fewer workers.

So now comes a story from Philadelphia that proves my point. Philly Plumbers Upset by Waterless Urinals!

From the story:
This city's hoped-for bragging rights as home of America's tallest environmentally friendly building could go down the toilet.

In a city where organized labor is a force to be reckoned with, the plumbers union has been raising a stink about a developer's plans to install 116 waterless, no-flush urinals in what will be Philadelphia's biggest skyscraper.

Developer Liberty Property Trust says the urinals would save 1.6 million gallons of water a year at the 57-story Comcast Center, expected to open next year.

But the union put out the word it doesn't like the idea of waterless urinals — fewer pipes mean less work.

The city's licensing department, whose approval is needed for waterless urinals, has not yet rendered a decision.

The mayor's office has stepped in to try to save the urinals, which use a cartridge at the base to trap odors and sediment as waste passes through.

It is telling the plumbers that the city's building boom will provide plenty of work for them and that even waterless urinal systems need some plumbing connections, said Stephanie Naidoff, city commerce director.
So there you go and now you know.

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