Call Newspapers (MO): Minimum wage would ‘raise up’ to $12 an hour if voters approve hike

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor
with Stephanie Sandoval, Columbia Missourian
Call Newspapers (MO), Oct 18, 2018

... The minimum-wage measure, called Proposition B on the ballot, would gradually increase the lowest hourly pay in the state to $12 an hour in five years. ... When Raise Up [Missouri] submitted its signatures last spring, it showcased stories of struggling low-income workers trying to raise families to emphasize the need for a higher living wage. ...

Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage also publicly announced its support for the initiative when the signatures were submitted.

Over 200 [now nearly 500] business owners and executives have signed Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’s online statement in support of gradually increasing Missouri’s minimum wage. Some of the signees included Pizza Head, Main Squeeze, Salon Nefisa and Yellow Dog Bookstore.

Lew Prince, treasurer of Raise Up Missouri and a manager for Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage, said the current minimum is too low.

“We believe no one that works full-time should have to live in poverty or have to struggle to take care of a family,” Prince said. “No one who works full-time should have to choose between food and medicine.”

Prince is the co-founder and former CEO of Vintage Vinyl in University City. He said that the plan is “simple, gradual and budget-able” and that increasing the wage will help people become more self-reliant.

He also said raising the minimum wage would affect over 670,000 workers in Missouri, dramatically increase consumer buying power, and ultimately create economic growth and jobs. He said it would also cut government spending and save taxpayers money. ...

Scott Sandler, owner of Pizza Head, said the idea that a higher minimum wage hurts business growth is based on the false assumption that productivity remains the same and that businesses simply incur higher payrolls: “In actuality, with higher wages comes higher productivity, lower turnover, better morale — and that reduces your labor cost per unit in the long run.”

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Copyright 2018 Call Newspapers


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