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I agree with many of our callers who said that it is nearly impossible for individuals and families in New York City to survive working minimum wage. While I believe that the minimum wage should be increased to keep up with the inflation rate, I think paying employees at jobs requiring minimum qualifications is unfair, especially when there are so many who learn a trade who do not make anywhere close to $15/hr.
Your thoughts and comments are posted below.
A new bill being introduced in Albany would require businesses like McDonald's and 7-Eleven to pay workers at least $15 an hour. Supporters of the Fair Wage Act rallied outside City Hall today. The legislation would apply to large businesses in New York State with annual gross revenues of at least $50 million, as well as chain stores with 11 or more locations throughout the country.
The bill is part of a broader push to raise wages "to better align with the high cost of living" in New York. The State's current minimum wage is $8 an hour, but will increase to $8.75 by the end of 2014 and $9 by the end of 2015. Supporters say similar laws have been enacted in other big cities. Opponents don't believe government should determine what businesses pay their employees. What do you say?
Do you support the Fair Wage Act? Is $15 an hour an appropriate wage for workers at big companies? Should the bill be expanded to small businesses too? Are you concerned about the role the government plays in deciding what merchants should pay their employees?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
I support the fair wage act, $15 a hour is amount of money the employee should get paid even that's not enough the cost of living is high espically in the city some people have big families to support and some parents are single. I believe small businesses should pay their employees the same amount its only fair.
Upper West Side
This is pure fascism and totally un-American. NYC is adopting it at an ever increasing speed, especially now under the new mayor. Fascism is a system of government under which property is ostensibly privately owned, but the use of which is controlled and regulated by the government. We fought a war to be rid of fascism. Now it is endorsed, accepted and imposed with virtually no one knowing the degree of its evil and the destruction of freedom it entails.
I support the Fair Wage Act, regrettably it is the only way to get these companies to pay their workers $15 an hour especially given the high cost of living in states like New York and other cities throughout the nation.
It will serve NY right when businesses leave. NYS promotes it self as business friendly, could not be. Further from the truth.
I think unions need to update the city contracts for the city employees if their raising the minimum wage ! (ESP DC37) I'm a city worker since 2006 and we haven't gotten in raise for the past 5/6 years ! But the rent and all the other living expenses are going up ! Ridiculous. If minimum wage is going up so should out salary!
I disagree with the newly proposed Fair Wage Act because employee's benefits and salaries is an agreement between the employer and employees. To force a business to pay employees higher salaries will only endanger the business. And if you think about it, there will be higher tax deductions on people's wages when they earn higher salaries.
I think $15 per hour is just to high. They didn't earn the amount
It would help a tremendous amount of people out of poverty. It would allow people to have more pride in their jobs despite the fact they work at Mc donalds or some other less desired job....it will improve the overall economy and reduce the burden on taxpayers...
It amazes me how these so called "progressives" think they can just dictate to businesses that they must pay $30K/year to all their employees just like that. Have any of them ever run their own business themselves?
Upper East Side
I DEFINITELY AGREE WITH THE WAGE INCREASE....YRS AGO...THOSE JOBS USED TO BELONG TO HIGH SCHOOL KIDS...THEY TOOK THE JOBS AWAY FROM THE KIDS BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WANT THE LIABLE RESPONSIBILITIES AND GAVE THE JOBS TO THE ADULTS...BUT,,, STILL PAYING THEM CHILDREN SALARIES....YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!
Instead of asking for wage increase..why not ask the government to ease their share by taxing? Have the government pitch-in. Cost of living is high is also because of the government..example taxing on utilities, taxing on gas and foods, etc.
Absolutely! Why should the middle-class subsidize rich companies' employees! People need to earn a living wage! My taxes pay for their employees food stamps & healthcare! While they continue to get richer!
I completely agree with every word that Madame President Brewer said. And this is coming from someone financially conservative. I lived in Australia where the minimum wage ranges from $15-20 an hour. Hell didn't freeze over, prices were not higher than they are here in NYC, and far fewer people were on welfare. We as New Yorkers are absolutely paying for the difference between the wages of these people are making and what it costs to live - with the huge rate of welfare usage from these workers. A living wage should be mandatory for these large businesses, or other businesses would be happy to fill their role.
I have worked in retail for five years during my entire time In college. I am now in grad school working in banking . You will be shocked as to how many mothers and fathers are living on minimum wage and raising families off of 8-9 dollars an hour. These individuals are living paycheck to paycheck and still utilizing public assistance to make ends meet, People want to talk about fifteen dollars an hour should be granted to those who acquire a skill? But what they fail to remember is that working for someone else means you are replaceable ! You'll never know when you'll be in desperate need to provide!
Minimum wage should not be raised to $15/hr. It's not fair how people who didn't strive for a better education should get paid what certificate jobs do. We live in New York. Things are always going to be expensive. If you can't afford it, move. Don't ruin our city because you don't want to progress the proper way. Basically I think people should stop fighting for higher pay and start working for it.
The minimum living wage should be at least $15 per hour. The corporations who employ these low-wage workers are multibillion dollar corporations whose CEOs make obscenely large salaries. It would barely make a dent in their profit margins if they paid their workers a living wage. There's a direct link between Greed and Poverty.
New York City should be the first ones to make sure that all city employees wages are over $15 hour. A clerk in the city makes $12 hour.
I'd like to know how manly of these giant chains (like McDonalds) pay their fair share of taxes if any at all thanks to corp. loopholes and lobbyists. So make them pay their hugely underpaid employees. Do these CEO's really need another castle in the south of France?
Upper West Side
I agree with new york city raising workers check to at least 15$ A hour maybe 20$ a Hour will be excellent everyone will be happy in new york city an be able to afford for them selfs
I believe increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a great start. The cost of living, especially in New York City has increases dramatically. Someone made a comment saying " it is too much to say may I take yoir order". Well, these people that work in these jobs are providing a service. It may also open up career paths and interest for them.
15 per hour It is a start 600 minus taxes equals 400 per week the same as unemployment Every job is important If the trash is not removed we all die of the plaque I just do not know if it is fair to only make large corporations do it It should be across the board What will happen is all the workers will leave small companies to go work for large corporations but, something has to be done there are too many people on food stamps and medicade I think there could be tax breaks to all companies that pay a decent wage because they are supporting the jobs that can not be shipped abroad Wake up America WE ARE NO LONGER AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY but we should not be a Food Stamp Society either
Who is going to pay the employees when minimum wage almost doubles? Is it the big businesses who are laying off employees left and right? Or the small business owners who can barely stay afloat now? Of course it will help them if we make them double their salary expenses! (*que the sarcasm*). People can earn more money by working hard and looking to better themselves, not by the government raising minimum wage for all people and eliminating the value of education and hard work.
I have sympathy for people making minimum wage, but there's a reason why it's called minimum-wage. It's what you get paid for minimum qualifications. All jobs are not equal. How much do you expect to get paid for a job that literally anyone can do with some quick on-the-job training? How much do you expect to get paid to push a mop? If you want to get paid a better wage, it's on you to get a better education and do what is necessary to learn a skill that pays better. You cant expect to drop out of high school and make a comfortable wage that's going to enable you to live how you want to.. You need to learn a trade. Being a cashier or stocking shelves at Walmart is not a trade. It is not your employer's responsibility to make sure you can pay your bills. He has to pay his own bills, and that means he can only afford to pay so much. The harder it is to find someone to do a certain job because of the skill level involved, the more that job will pay. People need to understand that. That said, I do think of the minimum-wage needs to be raised. But $15 an hour is twice the current minimum wage. Few businesses will be able to afford such a huge jump in their labor costs.
I agree with all the callers who say some people don't living within their means. If you have multiple children that you can't afford, it's not society's problem; it's your problem. And, unless the eligibility for food stamps changes, raising the minimum wage will only encourage people to have more kids they can't afford just to get food stamps and other benefits that my paycheck pays for.
In the past few decades prices of goods, services, housing, cost of living in general has sky rocketed. I remember the auto industry, textile, and other manufacturing sectors paid wages where families could maintain a minimum standard of living. Those jobs were exported as we willfully allowed this to happen. Today 47.5% of children in the United States are living in poverty, how can a head of household support a family on these existing embarrassing wages. This should not even be a discussion, it should be immediately mandated, how do we allow our teachers, officers, and other hard working folks to go years without a contract. Our service industry as of a decade ago was also exported, regarding a bank account, we have to speak with an asset manager from an emerging market who is hired by our major financial institution, the public saved these banks, and this is the gratitude. Our system has slowly broken to a point of no return. Ironically, we now have to import scientists, chemists, biologists, and other professions as our system is not producing a viable workforce as the population has lost its motivation, hence a third of the workforce is no longer looking for work, they have just given up. Do we blame them, 7.75 an hour before deductions, it's sad that we are even having this discussion.
I think $15 is a good start but still be adjusted to inflation. People aren't empathic to struggle if they know nothing of it.
If things are so bad, how come so many of these struggling employees can afford the latest iPhones and the most expensive sports shoes on the market?.
Upper East Side
the men who called from lower east and Kew gardens have keen business sense. New York's progressive council members are clueless.
Upper East Side
If you raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, what do you do with the people who are currently making $15 an hour -- bump them up to the next level, and what do you do with the next level, etc.
I believe that fast food employees should make more money but then again customers would have to pay more for their meal.
This is a result of the everybody is a special snowflake. Everybody in the little league gets a trophy. Not everyone is going to be a rock star you need your burger flippers janitors etc and they should be paid accordingly. Why fight and struggle to get better if the guy flipping burgers for you are making the same wage.
One time the government could put cap on what was charged to the consumer.
Be old I forgot what you call it. But it's Passover time and I went to buy asparagus fresh organic asparagus one bunch I paid $8.81 for. My Social Security check is $669 a month I First Lady Michelle Obama talks about eating good fresh vegetables fresh folk but when is the last time you went into the store and looked at the prices of these things? My minimum-wage went up they gave me seven dollars increase in my Social Security.
When I look in the grocery store I don't know how a mother a father , children eat let alone pay your rent ! let alone have car far or go to work and school I can't understand it.
It is true that if they raise the minimum wage the companies will just raise the price of the goods. My suggestion is the government should put a cap on how much a person can charge for a product.
Shame on anyone who thinks that anything less than $15.00 is reasonable or acceptable.
Anyone working should get a "living wage". Living wage means "a wage that you can live on." That has to match the cost of living. I think it has to be made mandatory, because businesses won't do it unless their mandated.
My mom has home heath aides who love their jobs and do the work of nurses and they get paid minimum wage. You can't put a price what some people do. They work, they should be able to afford to live.
To the person who mentioned about having a business - you have better employees when you pay them their worth, not just to get profits off their backs.
One, I think we're all underestimating the extent to which minimum wage laws protect men and women who who have little other options against companies that don't want to expend their profits on people who run their businesses.
Two, if we increased the rate of minimum wage at the rates of inflation, minimum wage would be above 25 dollars an hour.
Three, if we enforced a liveable minimum wage.....we'd be able to reduce the amount of tax money paid to people who can't afford to live otherwise. You think you're saving money at Walmart? Look at the percentage of your taxes that go to these men and women because Walmart won't pay them adequately.
Agree with the bill or not, if minimum wage increased proportionately with the increase in CEO salaries over the last 30 years, minimum wage would be 24$/hour
From hallie in astoria
Ok Harry and Gary we all know that these chains are making millions and are well off. You don't know the situation of the struggling poor forget middle class! I make 29 an hour and thank God I have my husband cause I don't think I would make it in nyc. You may say well stop buying things you don't need or cut back but in reality I'm one of these who is keeping the economy going! If we don't buy the businesses don't get money! Th I nk about that!
Louise from Brooklyn