Newsday: LI manufacturers retrench in face of minimum wage hike

By James T. Madore
Newsday, October 20, 2017

...  In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties the minimum rose from $9 to $10 per hour on Dec. 31, 2016, and it will rise by another $1 each year until $15 is reached in December 2021.

... Not all local manufacturing executives feel burdened by the higher minimum wage. Some are even enthusiastic supporters.

“If you pay employees fairly, you will have less employee turnover, and that reduces your training costs,” said Jon Cooper, president of Spectronics Corp., a Westbury-based producer of ultraviolet lighting and fluorescent dyes used to detect fluid leaks in engines, machinery and cooling systems.

“You also will be helping the local economy, because if employees have more money in their pocket, they will spend it at local businesses,” he said.

All but a handful of Spectronics’ 180 employees earn more than the minimum wage. Hourly workers, who are represented by a union, are paid the minimum rate until they successfully complete three months’ probation.

Cooper, former Democratic leader of the Suffolk County Legislature, spoke in favor of raising the federal minimum wage at a Capitol Hill news conference with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2014. ...

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Copyright 2017 Newsday


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