BFMW In the News

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

WIBW TV 13 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.

Common Good Network: Interview with Holly Sklar

Common Good Network

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

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.

Georgetown Voice: Editorial

Trying to catch ‘em legislatin’ dirty

Editorial, 2/1/07

If the “Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007” makes it through the Senate this week, and it almost definitely will, it will be the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. And after ten years of watching the purchasing power of that wage fall, it is time to raise the bare minimum.

McClatchy-Tribune News: Minimum wage hike would be a good start

By Albor Ruiz
New York Daily News, Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News, 2/1/07

The Senate is set to pass legislation raising the federal minimum wage for nearly 15 million of the poorest workers in the country. Granted, a $2.10 an hour increase is not nearly enough, but it certainly is a small step in the right direction.

"The increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. I hope Congress and the President will move swiftly to enact sensible legislation that will demonstrate our nation's commitment to reward hard work."

These are not the words of a labor leader or a union activist.

Wall Street Journal: Wage increase clears Senate hurdle

By John Godfrey
Wall Street Journal, 1/30/07

... Some business leaders say, however, that the additional wages will increase workers' purchasing power, in turn boosting their companies' bottom line. For example, Jim Sinegal, chief executive of Costco Wholesale Corp., backs the wage increase. And while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the minimum wage rise, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce supports it.

"We all lose when American workers are underpaid," said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber.