Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Minimum Wage Stories in National News

KRA Corporation recently saluted President Obama’s call to Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage and also index it to reflect inflation. SInce our post, some interesting stories regarding the hotly contested issue of minimum wage have been reported.

One such story is a proposed city minimum wage hike by SeaTac, WA that would raise the wage of workers at the SeaTac Airport and surrounding hospitality businesses employees from $9.19 to $15 per hour.

Although the state of Washington boasts the highest state minimum wage in the U.S. ($9.19 per hour), if this proposal passes it would be the first case of a Washington city to enact its own minimum wage.

It is a proposal that Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association believed to be too broad of a measure and unsuccessfully took to court to try and delay it from reaching the City Council.

A similar situation regarding a “living wage” bill is playing out in Washington D.C. The Large Retailer Accountability Act is drawing some heat from large retailers in the nation’s capital.  Large retailers (defined as those with indoor-operated stores of 75,000 square feet with corporate parent sales of $1 billion) are targeted in this D.C. Council’s bill. If it is passed, workers’ minimum wages would go up to no lower than $11.75 (plus benefits). It also has a provision to annually index that wage to the local CPI.

According to an article in the Washington Post, representatives from Home Depot, Target, AutoZone, Lowe’s, Walgreens, and Macy’s have drafted a letter to the Mayor asking him to veto the bill, saying that they believe it to be “unfairly discriminatory.” Walmart has gone so far as to say that this bill’s passing could negatively impact plans for future stores in the area.

In Miami, the local NBC affiliate reported that Martin Kiar, Broward County's commissioner, and State Senator Dwight Bullard both agreed to live on minimum wage for a week. It was reported that the pair are in favor of a Federal minimum wage increase.

KRA Corporation applauds both of the representative’s efforts to draw attention to the plight of those currently living on minimum wage. We continue to be in favor of efforts geared toward employment-and-earning equality.

As always, the KRA Corporation will be an advocate for addressing inequitable unemployment practices. We will support organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for our workforce as well as the communities in which we live.

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