WAMU: Raising Wages In Md. Forces Businesses To Make Tough Choices, Some Employers Say

By Ally Schweitzer
WAMU 88.5, March 28, 2019

... But employers like Tim’s Towing and Tulkoff Food Products are countered by other business owners across the state who say better wages create better employees.

“It’s important to pay people fairly, because I expect them to show up on time and work hard,” says Andrew Buerger, who co-owns B’More Organic, a maker of drinkable Icelandic-style yogurt. “If they have the sniffles, [they] come in. If it’s a snowstorm, they come in. You can’t pay somebody $10 an hour and expect them to give 110 percent.”

Buerger is affiliated with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of employers that support higher wages on the state and federal level. About 60 Maryland businesses aligned with the group — including &pizza, Rise Up Coffee Roasters and Berlin Animal Hospital — submitted written or in-person testimony to legislators, calling for the wage increases to be implemented.

Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, says too many employers overlook the benefits of paying higher wages. Workers who earn more tend to keep their jobs longer, she says, which reduces the cost of recruiting and training new employees. Higher-earning workers also tend to spend more, she says, pumping more money into regional economies. ...

“We think this is going to boost consumer spending, strengthen Maryland’s workforce and strengthen the economy,” Barron-Menza says.

Lawmakers in Maryland apparently agree, overwhelmingly approving the $15 minimum wage ....

Read more

Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5

Share +