Keene Sentinel: W.S. Badger executive testifies in favor of $15 minimum wage

By Mia Summerson
Keene Sentinel (NH), Feb 25, 2021

One of the leaders of a Gilsum-based business testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business on Wednesday, speaking in favor of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Addressing the committee via video call, W.S. Badger Company’s co-CEO, Rebecca Hamilton, urged Congress to support the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which aims to increase the minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15 an hour in ... 2025. ...

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that does not have a minimum wage higher than the national minimum of $7.25 an hour. Badger offers a $15 minimum wage to entry-level employees, according to a Tuesday news release from the company. W.S. Badger produces Badger Balm and a full range of other skin-care products.

“As a small, family-owned and run business in rural Gilsum, NH, Badger’s innovative approach to wages and benefits has made it an employer-of-choice in the region,” the release says. “Fair pay has helped Badger to succeed and grow and hire and retain excellent staff.”

In her testimony, Hamilton said that when Badger participated in workforce development meetings with other companies, elected officials, educators and researchers, she noticed that other businesses that don’t pay higher wages struggled to develop their workforces. Badger, she said, has been successful in doing so, saving the company money and enhancing efficiency.

“The more we can retain already trained staff, the more money we saved, the more reliable our staff, the better our productivity,” Hamilton said during Wednesday’s hearing. “The success of our business is directly tied to the dedication of our staff.” ...

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