BFMW In the News

Wall Street Journal: Minimum Wage: Economy Not Likely to Flinch As Many Get Raises

By Kris Maher
Wall Street Journal, 7/21/07

On Tuesday, about two million workers will get a raise, as the first increase in the federal minimum wage since 1997 takes effect.

But for all the handwringing about how raising the federal minimum wage would hurt employers and boost inflation, this week's initial wage increase to $5.85 an hour is expected to have little impact on the economy. The price of a cheese pizza might rise, but that could be blamed on higher dairy and gasoline prices, as well as higher pay for cooks and cashiers.

New Orleans City Business: Louisiana businesses champion minimum wage hike

New Orleans City Business, 7/20/07

METAIRIE - Seven Louisiana business people have signed a nationwide statement in support of the higher federal minimum wage, which takes effect Tuesday.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a project of Boston-based Business for Shared Prosperity, is collecting signatures from businesses across the country in support of the higher minimum wage at www.businessforafairminimumwage.org.

The Louisiana signatures are from:

- Evelyn Cathey, Mandeville, president of Creations Galore.

- Donna Cleary, Baton Rouge, owner and CEO of Cleary Enterprises.

KAKE-TV 10, ABC, Wichita: Raise in Minimum Wage Applauded by Business Leaders

KAKE-TV 10, ABC, Wichita, 7/20/07

Kansas – On July 24, for the first time in ten years, the federal minimum wage will go up – marking the end of the longest period without a raise since the minimum wage was enacted in 1938.

Kansas workers covered under the federal law will get a raise from $5.15 to $5.85 next week. Contrary to conventional wisdom, many businesses are cheering the raise.

Industry Week: Minimum Wage Forum

Minimum Wages: How Does Your State Stack Up?
By Brad Kenney, IT Editor
Industry Week, 7/20/07

According to a recent study by HR information and software provider CCH, workers in most states will not be affected by the upcoming increase in the federal minimum wage to $5.85.

That's because 32 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the new federal level.

WIBW TV 13 Kansas: Raise in Minimum Wage Applauded by Business Leaders

WIBW TV 13 Kansas
7/20/07

On July 24, for the first time in ten years, the federal minimum wage will go up – marking the end of the longest period without a raise since the minimum wage was enacted in 1938.

Kansas workers covered under the federal law will get a raise from $5.15 to $5.85 next week. Contrary to conventional wisdom, many businesses are cheering the raise.

Common Good Network: Interview with Holly Sklar

Common Good Network
7/20/07

This week The Common Good Network interviewed Holly Sklar, author of Raise the Floor and A Just Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Business and Our Future. Holly is a consultant with the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, of which Protestants for the Common Good is an active member. PCG Deputy Director Rev. Jennifer Kottler serves on the Executive Committee of the Steering Committee of this campaign.

CGN: It seems like the increase in the minimum wage is big news. Why is that?

Talk Radio News Service: Ellen Ratner interviews Holly Sklar

6/22/07
Ellen Ratner asks Holly Sklar about how the Business for Shared Prosperity Project collaborates with businesses.
Holly Sklar talks about how some business owners support the Business for Shared Prosperity project in its quest to raise the minimum wage.

Ellen Ratner interviews Holly Sklar about the Business for Shared Prosperity Project, a project that aims to change the approach to business in America to make the country more competitive in the global market.

OneWorld: Minimum Wage Increase Likely to Remain Tied to War Bill

By Caitlin G. Johnson
OneWorld US, 5/18/07

NEW YORK - A Congressional plan to give the United States' lowest-paid workers their first raise in nearly 10 years was put on hold earlier this month when U.S. President George W. Bush vetoed the Iraq War spending bill.

A minimum wage clause appended to the war bill would have guaranteed all U.S. workers a salary of at least $7.25 per hour by 2009. The current federal minimum wage has been set at $5.15 per hour since 1997.

Forbes: O'Toole and Lawler, Low Costs Versus High Wages?

Excerpt: Although offering minimal wages and benefits is the most common way companies try to lower their costs, our recent study of American management practices reveals that such bottom feeding may not be the most effective strategy. In fact, low wages paradoxically generate a variety of negative employee behaviors that add to the overall cost of doing business.

Low Costs Versus High Wages?
By James O'Toole and Edward E. Lawler III
Forbes, 4/25/07

Small Business Review: John Arensmeyer, The minimum wage bill

Now part of the Iraq funding bill, the minimum wage proposal has been sweetened with small-business tax breaks.

By John Arensmeyer
Small Business Review, 3/23/07

Swept back into power last November, Democrats in Congress placed a minimum-wage hike atop their “100 Hour Agenda” in January. The measure, bolstered by the passage of minimum-wage ballot initiatives that passed in six states, sailed through the House. Over two years, it would raise the minimum by $2.10 per hour to $7.25.

Business NH: Brother, Can NH Spare $7.25?

By Michelle Saturley
Business NH Magazine, February 2007

The battle over the federal minimum wage is escalating as the U.S. House voted in January to raise it from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over 26 months, with the Senate working on its own version of a bill. Since NH tradionally sets its minimum wage by the federal standard advocates and opponents alike are closely watching the debate. The state's Democratic leaders have also made raising the mimimum wage a priority

Cox News Service: Business forges unusual alliances

New coalitions lobby Congress on health care, environment, minimum wage.

By Marilyn Geewax
Cox News Service, 2/14/07

WASHINGTON - As partisanship chills the cooperative mood the new Congress enjoyed in its first weeks, frustrated business executives are working in unusual coalitions with labor leaders and environmentalists to push for compromises.

Consider a few recent examples:

McClatchy-Tribune News Op-Ed: Holly Sklar, Minimum wage raise is good for business

By Holly Sklar
Op-Ed Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service, February 8, 2007
Copyright (c) 2007 Holly Sklar

The minimum wage is headed for a raise -- back to the 1950s. That's right, even after rising from $5.15 now to $7.25 in 2009, the federal minimum wage will still be lower than it was in 1956, when it was $7.41 in today's dollars.

The minimum wage was enacted in 1938 through the Fair Labor Standards Act, designed to eliminate "labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being of workers."

The minimum wage was never meant to be the minimum the nation's worst employers want to pay. That would be as absurd as setting environmental policies to accommodate the worst polluters.

USA Today Letter to the Editor: Lew Prince, Wage hike's benefits

By Lew Prince, Co-Owner and CEO, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis
USA Today, 2/9/07

Todd Stottlemyer, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), reveals total ignorance of business when he claims raising the minimum wage to $7.25 by 2009 would force business owners to jack up prices by 40% ("Don't kill the golden goose," Opposing view, Thursday).

Toronto Star: Surviving on $5.15 an hour

Minimum-wage workers in the U.S. today have less buying power than counterparts did 50 years ago
By Tim Harper
Toronto Star, 2/5/07

ASHLAND, Va.–The last time the minimum wage was raised in Virginia, Khalil Shareef was a 12-year-old kid, perhaps heading down a path chosen by too many in his family.