KYW News Radio: Pa. labor secretary touts raising the minimum wage

By Hadas Kuznits
KYW Newsradio, June 10, 2022

PHILADELPHIA -- In the final months of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, Labor and Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier visited a Chestnut Hill bakery to tout the importance of raising the state’s minimum wage, a measure that’s a part of his state budget proposal. The current rate of $7.25 — which hasn’t been raised since the federal government’s hike in 2009 — isn’t even a living wage, Berrier said. ...

Berrier made her case at Night Kitchen on Germantown Avenue Thursday, a bakery that’s only several miles and a brief drive to the New Jersey border, which offers a minimum wage of $13 an hour — 79% more than Pennsylvania. ...

Some Pennsylvania employers, like Night Kitchen, do pay more than the minimum wage, even though it’s not legally required. Owner Amy Edelman found raising it for her employees reduced turnover.

“It was easier to keep people longer and people were happier in their jobs,” she said. “We have fewer mistakes. We have people that are trained better that know the business inside and out, and who stay with us longer. And when we have less turnover, we make a bigger profit.”

The same goes for people in the neighborhood — when residents have more to spend, that’s good for her business.

“When the minimum wage goes up, workers have more money to spend at businesses like ours,” Edelman added.

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