WLVR/NPR: Push for minimum wage increase comes to Bethlehem

By Hayden Mitman
WLVR/NPR, Aug 27, 2021

... Gov. Tom Wolf has called for an increase as all six states that border the commonwealth offer higher minimum wages. ...

John Schall, owner of the authentic Mexican restaurant in Bethlehem [El Jefe’s Taqueria], credited much of his success to the fact that he pays his employees a living wage. 

“It’s just part of being a decent human being. It’s also a crucial part of a successful business model,” he said. “There are restaurants now that aren’t open because they say they can’t find staff. I haven’t closed for an hour because I can’t find staff. It’s absolutely the case that paying a living wage is a crucial part of the success of El Jefe’s.”

Schall offers a starting hourly wage of $12 an hour plus tips. 

At $7.25 an hour, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is the lowest allowed by federal law. 

Marcos Talaba, who works at Schall’s restaurant, said his last job paid just a few cents over the minimum wage. ...

A pair of bills being debated in Harrisburg would see the minimum wage raised to $12 an hour this year and then climb incrementally to $15 an hour in 2027. 

The governor said he would approve a wage hike once it gets to his desk.

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