CNBC: With pandemic and presidential race, $15 minimum wage could get another push

 

By Melissa Repko
CNBC, July 15, 2020

... July 24 marks 11 years — the longest stretch without an increase since the federal wage was enacted in 1938 [during the Great Depression]. ... Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of the nonpartisan group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said it could be used to stimulate the economy again by putting more money into Americans’ pockets.

“It’s just that kind of shared recovery tool that we need now,” she said. ...

Barron-Menza said businesses support higher wages, too. Over 1,300 companies, executives and business organizations involved with the group pledged support for last year’s House-approved legislation. The group counts chambers of commerce, small businesses and well-known national brands like Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s as members. She said businesses recognize that if Americans don’t make enough money, they can’t go to their restaurants and stores and spend it. 

“These businesses need customers who can afford their products and services,” she said. “When the minimum wage is so low that people are having to choose between food and rent, they are probably not buying a pair of shoes for their child or taking a family member out to celebrate a birthday or replacing tires or doing car repair when it’s needed.”

She said companies’ wage increases are offset by lower turnover as they spend less on recruiting and training and have experienced employees who are more productive and provide better customer service. ...

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