Employees at fast food restaurants and retail stores are planning a nationwide strike on Thursday, August 29th. So don't count on a burger at lunch. Instead, dine at an expensive restaurant, or even better yet, bring a lunch from home.
Workers are protesting the low minimum wage found throughout the nation. In California, that minimum wage is $8 per hour, or $16,640 per year, provided the employee works 40 hours per week. That's certainly not enough to live on in California, except in the most humble of circumstances.
City council and mayoral candidates in Seattle are suggesting that the minimum wage in the Emerald City increase to $15 per hour. That equates to $31,200 per year, just $2,000 under the threshhold for an exempt salary in California.
The Christian Science Monitor has a good article on the subject. According to an economist at UC Davis, a jump to $15 per hour would increase prices just 4 to 5 percent. Of course, business interests contend that these increases will drive business out of town. Of course, education and the aquisition of skills is the best solution to a low paying job. However, this is much easier said than done. So is raising the minimum wage the answer?
I am waiting for the day a politician takes up the cause of the business owner. I know many of them who have worked like dogs, and lived like dogs, for long periods of time hoping that their dreams succeed. Some made it and some didn't. Too bad the Seattle politicians weren't there to guarantee a minimum rate of return on their work efforts!
Post Script: To see who really sued, look at Jared Callister's blog, California Tax Review, for August 31st. Turns out while workers worked, the SEIU paid people to impersonate strikers. Another brilliant move by a less than stellar organization!