What 5 Employers Have To Say About the Minimum Wage

by Secretary Tom Perez on July 18, 2014 · 5 comments

Clockwise from top left: John Pepper, Amanda Rothschild, Nick Hanaueur, Harry Moorehouse and Glenn Murphy.

The case for a higher minimum wage is so compelling because it not only benefits workers, but also the businesses that employ them. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what some business owners from around the country are saying:

“Our decision to invest in front-line employees will directly support our business, and is one that we expect to deliver a return many times over.”
-Gap Inc. CEO Glenn K. Murphy

“If we’re talking about building a business that’s successful, but our employees can’t go home and pay their bills, to me that success is a farce.”
-Boloco co-founder John Pepper

“Our people work really hard and $15 impacts their lives in a very positive way. The whole notion that it’s all kids starting out and they don’t deserve to be paid much, that’s all specious. We’re paying people $15 an hour so they have a living wage, so they really care about you when you come in the store.”
-Moo Cluck Moo co-founder Harry Moorhouse

“If workers have more money, businesses have more customers.”
-Seattle-based entrepreneur Nick Hanauer

“Our training costs would be significantly higher if we paid lower wages and we had the kind of turnover that you typically see in a restaurant.”
-Amanda Rothschild, co-owner of Charmington’s Cafe in Baltimore

And they’re not alone. A recent survey shows that 61 percent of small business owners now support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  They know that paying wages is good for the bottom line, increasing employee morale and productivity.  They also know that more money in people’s pockets means higher consumer demand and more spending on goods and services, providing a shot in the arm to the entire economy.

Despite Congress’ failure to act, many states have taken matters into their own hands and increased their own minimum wages. Raising the minimum wage is pro-worker and pro-business. It is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. Congress should just do it.

 
Follow Secretary Perez on Twitter as @LaborSec.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RT July 18, 2014 at 7:21 pm

It’s sad that these employers needed a law change to increase their workers pay. If they believe what they say they could have and should have increased the pay for their workers any time they wanted. In addition, if they believe in this why stop at $15 per hour ? Why not $25 per hour ?

2 Greg July 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

If a higher wage was this awesome why did these companies wait to be forced by government action. After all there is no law against giving deserving employees higher wages. The minimum wage needs to be left alone and let employers decide who gets a raise.

3 Karl Jaensch July 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I think you-all know that Henry Ford doubled the wages of the workers in his Deaborn assembly plant a hundred years ago. He explained this as follows:

“If we can distribute high wages, then that money is going to be spent and it will serve to make storekeepers and distributors and manufactureres and workers in other lines more properous and their prosperity will be reflected in (Ford car) sales. Countrywide high wages spell countrywide prosperity.”

4 Sam July 25, 2014 at 10:04 am

That’s all fine, but let’s see the CEO’s cut their pay to help pay for the increases. Otherwise, the workers who are struggling to get by day to day are being penalized and will effect their spending habits.

5 Yolanda July 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Our wages were raised according to the new minimum wage law, however, our hours were reduced drastically. If the reduction in hours per week is only about 5 hours per week, we may be making almost the same amount; however, the reduction is 10 hours or more. With lesser hours, we new employees are now climbing like snails to earn our eligibility hours for future benefits, i.e., 401-K, medical/dental/life insurance, and shareholders benefit. Therefore, the increase in minimum wage has a ripple effect in our wages and employee status.

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