Calling the minimum wage legislation passed by both houses of the legislature yesterday a “negotiated” bill is like saying a team won a basketball game when they were the only team on the court. Business did not get a say in the “negotiated” bill.

The business coalition formed to oppose the minimum wage increase, California Consumers Against Higher Prices, issued a release calling the bill a “backroom deal.”

The release went on to say: “… our Coalition will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to fight a policy that goes too far, too fast.”

Exactly how to do that?

The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, who qualified a minimum wage increase for the ballot, issued a release that the union’s executive board will consider what to do about the initiative in early May.

Under a new law, the proponents have the power to pull the initiative. The union indicated that if Governor Brown signs the bill the plan is to drop the initiative.

However, that may depend on business’ next move. If business decides to mount a referendum on the bill, SB 3, in hopes of putting the measure before the voters, the union could proceed with the initiative despite the bill becoming law. Business would then have to focus its attention on the union’s initiative this fall.

If the governor signs the bill quickly and a referendum is filed, the union can wait to see if it qualifies. Referendum supporters would have 90 days to qualify. The qualification date and the date to pull initiatives would be about the same time and the initiatives proponents should have a good idea where they stand.

Business has a tough decision to make. Do they think the arguments put forth that the minimum wage will cost jobs–by businesses managing new costs with fewer workers, automation eliminating jobs, and closing the opportunity for young workers to enter the work force–appeal to the voters?

Some in the business community might look at the bill and decide it is a better option than dealing with the initiative. Others may think the swift and sharp increase of the wage in the initiative can be stopped at the ballot.

It seems labor is in the catbird seat and business has the tough strategic call to make.