BFMW In the News

Democrat and Chronicle: New York Minimum wage increase

Posted by Joseph Spector
Democrat and Chronicle, April 18, 2012

At a Senate Democratic Conference hearing Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader John Sampson said the push to increase minimum wage in the state is one that’s vital to low-income workers’ ability to maintain a standard of living in the state, Gannett’s Aaron Scholder reports.

“It’s about justice. Making sure that we give the dignity and the quality of life that those employees deserve. Because the more you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your business,” Sampson said. ...

Senate Democrats said the increased money given to minimum-wage workers could go a long way in helping the state’s economy.

AP: Conn. workers call for raising the minimum wage

By Shannon Young
Associated Press, Feb 28, 2012 

HARTFORD (AP) -- Low-wage workers, economists and others are pushing lawmakers to support legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage during the coming years and eventually tie it to inflation.

The bill, which is being considered by the state's Labor and Public Employees Committee, would raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, beginning July 2012, and to $9.75 an hour the following year. The bill requires the minimum wage rate to be tied to inflation beginning in July 2014.

New York Times article on proposed New York state minimum wage increase

Fearing a Minimum Wage Increase Will Be Bad for Business
By Joseph Berger
New York Times, Feb 19, 2012

... The State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently announced that they wanted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, or roughly $17,000 a year. ... “People who work full time should not be poor,” Mr. Silver said, arguing that the current minimum wage was too low for survival. ...

St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial: Business leaders pad pay while cheering plight of low-wage earners

St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial, Oct 25, 2011

Wonder why the folks occupying Wall Street and Kiener Plaza are angry? It's this kind of thing:

Last week, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the state's biggest business lobby, cheered because the Missouri economy was so weak that the minimum wage would not be raised.

"At a time when Missouri businesses are struggling to provide jobs in today's difficult economic climate, it is good news that labor costs will remain stable and competitive compared to other surrounding states," wrote chamber President Dan Mehan.

Three cheers for low-paying jobs!

McClatchy-Tribune News: Holly Sklar, CEOs to workers: More for me, less for you

By Holly Sklar

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service, July 22, 2011 

Big company CEOs got a 23 percent raise last year and corporate profits are at record highs. But the minimum wage has less buying power now than in 1956 – the year Elvis Presley first topped the charts, videotape was breakthrough technology and the Dow closed above 500 for the very first time.

It’s no accident wages are down while corporate profits are up. As JPMorgan’s July 11 “Eye on the Market” newsletter put it,  “Reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement in [profit] margins… US labor compensation is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP.” 

Beep.... Illinois minimum wage flatlines

By Megan Cottrell
Chicago Reporter, June 30, 2011

For the first time in five years, the state minimum wage won't go up today. From 2006 until 2009, the lowest wage that employers can pay their employees went from $6.50 to $8.25. And low-wage workers won't see their paychecks increase unless the Senate moves on a bill, SB 1565, that's currently stalled in committee.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Motivation not all it's cracked up to be

"If I were selecting a businessperson to be Citizen of the Year, I'd go with somebody like Lew Prince." Lew is a longtime BSP member. 

By Bill McClellan
St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 2, 2011

The great Motivational Seminar has come and gone — my 70 tickets never arrived — and it was, by all accounts, well-attended. Perhaps this means that our region will soon be surging forward. Thousands of motivated St. Louisans will be a mighty force for change!

Or maybe not.

Last week's "Get Motivated!" event — a swarm of celebrity speakers and book-on-tape peddlers at Scottrade Center — may well have sent folks home brimming with inspiration.

But motivation can only take a person so far.

Huffington Post: Minimum Wage, Labor Investigations Targets Of Missouri Republicans

By Dave Jamieson
Huffington Post, April 28, 2011 

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this year, Missouri business leaders presented lawmakers with a six-point plan they said would bring jobs to the state during tough economic times. Since then, state Republicans have aggressively pushed the agenda and added their own legislative tweaks. Critics say the business-friendly platform is currently one of the most aggressive attacks on low-wage workers.

Baltimore Sun: Minimum wage debate gains momentum in Md.

By Lorraine Mirabella
The Baltimore Sun, April 10, 2011

Bridget Highkin works as hard now as she did two years ago. But then she brought home $800 a week from her waitressing job and today she's lucky to clear $300.

For now — until she completes a part-time nursing program and can find a job as a nurse — financial relief for her family hinges on a proposal to increase Maryland's hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.75 over three years. A few more dollars an hour would allow her to stop receiving assistance for day care and food, Highkin says.

Gazette: John Shepley, Raising minimum wage makes business sense

By John Shepley
Op-Ed, Gazette (MD), April 8, 2011

As a small business owner, I support increasing Maryland's inadequate minimum wage because it makes good business sense. It's important for our economic recovery and progress.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage claim it's not the right time because the economy is weak. What they don't want you to remember is that for them the time is never right. In 2005, they opposed a raise in Maryland's minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.15. And they opposed federal legislation to raise the minimum wage in 1996, during the longest economic expansion in our nation's history. The president of the Maryland Retailers Association in 1996 cut to the chase when he said about their opposition, "A lot of it's philosophical."

Columbia Daily Tribune: Senate takes up wage bill

By Rudi Keller
Columbia Daily Tribune, March 30, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — The House-passed bill to permanently link Missouri’s minimum wage to the federal minimum is corporate welfare that hurts low-income workers and small businesses, a St. Louis record store owner told a Senate committee yesterday.

Tom Ray, owner of Vintage Vinyl in Del Mar, said the bill, which would end the possibility that the state minimum wage could exceed the federal minimum, means fewer sales at his store.

“You are shooting the economy of this state in the foot,” Ray told the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee.

Crofton Patch: Crofton Company Joins Push to Increase MD Minimum Wage

More than 60 Maryland business owners, executives and organizations signed a petition to endorse legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.75 by 2013.

“There is room to improve the minimum wage,” Berna Rodman said.

Rodman started Antiochia her home-based business December 2007 in Crofton. The wholesaler sells traditional Turkish bath towels and soaps just off Johns Hopkins Road.

“I don’t have any employees at this moment. Even though I don’t pay anything right now, I still feel it [minimum wage] needs to catch up with the living standard,” she said.

Rodman is among the 60 Maryland business owners, executives and organizations who signed a petition to endorse legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage.

Daily Record: Md. business coalition backs minimum wage hike

By Nicholas Sohr
Daily Record, Eye on Annapolis, March 29, 2011 

Four dozen business owners and executives signed on to a petition Tuesday urging the passage of legislation in Annapolis that would bump the state’s minimum wage to $9.75 an hour in 2013.

The statement read, in part: “With less buying power than it had in the 1950s and 60s, today’s minimum wage means poverty for working families and undermines our economy. A higher minimum wage makes good sense for our Maryland economy. It puts money in the hands of the people who will put it right back into local businesses.”

Read the full statement, from Business for Shared Prosperity, here.

Citybizlist: Nealy 60 Maryland Business Owners Endorse Minimum Wage Increase

Strong Wage Floor Vital for Maryland's Economy, Small Biz Owners Say

MARYLAND - Today nearly 60 Maryland business organizations, owners and executives endorsed legislation to raise the state's inadequate minimum wage to $9.75 per hour by 2013. Representing small businesses in the restaurant industry, retail, manufacturing, construction, auto repair, cleantech, healthcare, finance and more, the coalition stressed that a strong minimum wage should be a state priority because it will boost the consumer demand vital for job creation and promote a strong economy for Maryland's future.

KOMU TV: Missourians Raging Over Wages

By Mimi Nguyen
KOMU News TV8 (NBC), Mar 29, 2011


JEFFERSON CITY- A Senate committee met Tuesday to discuss House Bill 61 and listen to testimony from proponents and opponents of the bill.

A new law would amend the 2006 voter-approved law that allows the minimum wage of Missouri to be adjusted according to the annual cost of living and inflation. The new law would prohibit Missouri's minimum wage from exceeding the federal minimum wage.

Missouri's current minimum wage is $7.25, the same as the federal rate.