Business owners, labor unions dispute over minimum wage hike

Mar 29, 2016 11:41 AM by News Staff

Here in California, Governor Jerry Brown and other leaders announced a landmark deal to raise the state's minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour by 2022.

Supporters say it will raise living standards for millions and spur new demands for goods and services.

But critics say it will lead to layoffs and higher prices.

Paying employees $15 an hour in the next six to seven years isn't what Edie Baker was expecting to hear from Governor Brown Monday.

The governor announced a tentative deal which would gradually bring the minimum wage to $15 by 2022

Businesses with less than 25 employees have until 2023 to meet the $15 an hour cap.

Baker says she has 16 employees and while slashing jobs isn't an option right now she's worried the deal would cut into her profits.

“I may have to raise my prices and I worry if my customers who aren’t getting those increase and are salaried are willing to pay more for my coffee,” she asked.

But it's a victory for millions of low-income workers across California.

The SEIU labor union has been rallying nationwide for the last three-and-a-half years to bring the minimum wage up to $15 dollars an hour.

Union representatives say the hike is their ticket to restoring the American dream.

“It means hope, it means they don't have to live in fear about making decisions about where've to pay their light bill or put shoes on their kids' feet to go to school.”

Baker isn't fully opposing the hike though.

She thinks adjusting the minimum wage according to the cost of living standard throughout the state is a more pocket-friendly solution.

“How are we going to get people to work here if they can get a better and lower living somewhere else,” Baker questioned.

The proposal would avoid taking the issue to the ballot.

Governor Brown could pause the increases in times of budgetary or economic downturns.


Most Popular