Jefferson City News Tribune: Signatures acquired in steps toward minimum wage increase

By Philip Joens
Jefferson City News Tribune, May 3, 2018

A group of business owners, activists and retail employees turned in more than 120,000 signatures Wednesday to the office of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft in an attempt to force voters to decide whether to raise the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour.

Proponents of the initiative said Wednesday that the proposal has the support of more than 200 businesses statewide. If passed by voters, the proposal could raise the state's minimum wage gradually until 2023. ...

Raise Up Missouri and Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a separate group of business owners who support the initiative, turned in the signatures to Ashcroft's office Wednesday. ...

People earning minimum wage make about $314 per week, or $16,000 per year, according to a news release issued by the group. Raise Up Missouri Treasurer Lew Prince, who founded St. Louis record store Vintage Vinyl, said $16,000 is unsustainable for people to live on. ...

Scott Sandler, owner of Pizza Head in St. Louis, said he pays his tipped employees around $9 per hour plus tips. Usually his employees earn about $22 per hour including tips. Sandler said this leads to far less turnover than other restaurants see.

The restaurant and hospitality industries had turnover rates of 72.9 percent in 2016, according to the National Restaurant Association. Sandler said his business sees turnover of about 30 percent.

"If you pay today's bare minimum of $7.85 per hour to your employees, why should you expect more than just the bare minimum from them?" Sandler said. "You're telling them you don't value them."

Read more

Copyright 2018 News Tribune

Share +