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San Franciso Raises the minium Wage to 10.25

desertrain10desertrain10 Posts: 4,829 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 2011 in The Social Lounge
David Frias works two minimum-wage jobs to squeak by in one of the most expensive cities in America.

Come New Year's Day, he'll have a few more coins in his pocket as San Francisco makes history by becoming the first city in the nation to scale a $10 minimum wage. The city's hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24, more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government.

It won't put much more in Frias' wallet. But it gives him a sense of moving on up.

"It's a psychological boost," said Frias, who is a 34-year-old usher at a movie theater and a security guard for a crowd control firm. "It means that I'll have more money in my wallet to pay my bills and money to spend in the city to help the economy."

San Franciscans passed a proposition in 2003 that requires the city to increase the minimum wage each year, using a formula tied to inflation and the cost of living. It's just another way the progressive people of the City by the Bay have shown their support for the working-class in a locale where labor unions remain strong and housing costs are sky high.

Karl Kramer of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition said a decent wage for a single adult without children in the city would be $15, and that doubles when you have at least one child or more. But like other advocates of better wages, he's still pleased that San Francisco will be the first in the nation to top $10.

"It helps workers' morale in a time of economic crisis; they feel that they're able to tread water and get some relief from the recession," said Kramer.

While the city is at the forefront of attempting to provide a decent living wage, most employees say it's still not a wage to live on, that the 32-cent hike seems like peanuts. And some employers say it could lead to layoffs by small businesses already forced to pay federal, state and city payroll taxes as well as a slew of other city-mandated taxes.

Daniel Scherotter, chef and owner of Palio D'Asti, an upscale Italian restaurant in the Financial District, said the city's minimum wage hike from $9.92 to $10.24 means that his highest-paid employees — the waiters who make most of their income from tips — will see more money in their pockets while his salaried kitchen staff will have to take the hit.

If Scherotter raised menu prices to make up the difference, he'd risk going out of business in this economy.

What the average San Franciscan may not know, he said, is that business owners also must pay another $1.23 to $1.85 an hour per employee for health-care coverage if they don't offer health insurance. San Francisco is also the only city in the state that charges a payroll tax of 1.5 percent; it also mandates nine paid sick days annually per employee.

link to the rest of the story

any thoughts? do you think other states should raise the minimum wage?

imo i'm all for raising the minimum wage.... the minimum wage SHOULD be tied to the cost of living...it's all relative. for too long, any shortfalls in the equation have been taken from the WORKERS, with the result being that wages have been stagnant or in decline since the 70s (while the cost of living has skyrocketed). even in the face of rapidly RISING corporate profits, costs continue to be cut on the back of workers. not only is this unjust, it is a recipe for disaster in an economy in which roughly 80% of all activity is in the form of consumer spending. CONSUMER demand and spending is what creates JOBS so wouldn't it make sense to pay people more so they have more money to send????.... businesses just don't magically start hiring because their labor costs are dirt cheap. no-one EVER created a job unless there was the DEMAND to justify it.

not saying people working at subway should be making $20 per hour, but a $2 or $3 increase to the current standard is not going to hurt. not to mention most empirical studies have found that minimum wage laws (and “living wage” laws, which raise wages even higher) have little or no effect on employment levels.


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