Kansas City Star: ‘You can’t make enough with minimum wage’: What does it take to get by in Missouri?

By Allison Kite
Kansas City Star, Missouri Influencer Series, Oct 1, 2018

It’s been years since Desiree Saunders earned the minimum wage...but the child nutrition worker at Kansas City Public Schools said she constantly sees students whose families struggle because their parents earn Missouri’s minimum wage. ... Missouri’s minimum wage is $7.85 per hour, but an initiative petition on the November ballot would raise it to $12 per hour. ...

At The Rieger restaurant on Main Street, owner Howard Hanna said he pays his workers well above the minimum wage. To him, that makes good business sense because he can recruit better employees.

“Secondly, once somebody is here and they learn the job, we’re more likely to keep somebody for a longer time. And so much of what we do is constantly training staff, and that’s very expensive,” Hanna said. “If we can keep somebody longer and they can build up some institutional knowledge and really buy into the culture of the place and really become a longer-term part of our team, that’s super beneficial.”

Hanna is part of Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a coalition of businesses that support the initiative on the November ballot. ...

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