CNN: Chris Lu: Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage in 3,614 days. It's time to put hard-working Americans first

Op-Ed By Chris Lu
CNN Business Perspectives, June 16, 2019

On Sunday, the United States will mark an unfortunate milestone: It will be 3,614 days since the federal minimum wage was last raised in July 2009. This will be the longest period of time between federal minimum wage increases in the nation's history. ...

Traditionally, businesses and workers have been pitted against each other in the minimum wage debate. This dynamic has shifted considerably over the past year, with major companies Amazon, McDonald's and Walmart announcing their support for raising the federal wage floor.

But it's not just large companies that are on board with a wage hike. More than 800 companies, most of which are small businesses, have joined Business for a Fair Minimum Wage in supporting a raise to $15 by 2024.

During my own travels around the country as the deputy secretary of Labor during the Obama Administration, I met with owners of both large and small businesses who explained that higher wages improve employee recruitment and retention, productivity and customer service. Higher pay also means more spending money for employees, which boosts the local economy. ...

Chris Lu served as deputy secretary of Labor during the Obama administration. He is a board member of the American Sustainable Business Council and a senior fellow at the University of Virginia Miller Center. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

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Copyright 2019 Chris Lu

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