Minimum Wage Making Headlines Around the Country

In one of our recent articles, KRA saluted the Obama administration’s plea to Congress to revisit the Federal minimum wage, as well as the push to permanently index the minimum wage to inflation. Since we posted, there have been some significant news stories regarding the hotly contested issue of minimum wage.

In one story (via Real Change), a recent initiative by the city of SeaTac, WA, proposed that the city’s minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour for SeaTac Airport workers and those employed at surrounding hospitality businesses. It would be the first case of a Washington city to enact its own minimum wage.

The state of Washington boasts the distinction of having the highest state minimum wage in the U.S. The rate of $9.19 per hour is almost $2 higher than the Federal minimum and increases annually by a voter-approved cost-of-living adjustment based on the Federal Consumer Price Index [CPI] for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

It is a proposal that Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association (among others) are looking to counter in court stipulating that the measure is too broad and merits further legal review.

A similar situation is unfolding in the nation’s capital where the Large Retailer Accountability Act is coming under some fire by large retailers. The D.C. Council “living wage” bill, which targets large retailers (defined as those with indoor-operated stores of 75,000 square feet with corporate parent sales of $1 billion), would raise the minimum wage of its workers to no lower than $11.75 (plus benefits). It would also annually index that wage to the local CPI.

The Washington Post has reported that a letter written by representatives from Home Depot, Target, AutoZone, Lowe’s, Walgreens, and Macy’s is urging the Mayor to veto the bill, stipulating that it is unfairly discriminatory. Walmart has even threatened to scuttle plans for planned stores if the bill goes through.

In an article from NBC Miami, Broward County Commissioner Martin Kiar and State Senator Dwight Bullard—both of whom are in favor of a Federal minimum wage increase—have agreed to live on minimum wage for a week.

KRA Corporation applauds their efforts in attempting to heighten awareness of the plight of those currently living on minimum wage, and continues to support efforts aimed at some measure of employment-and-earning equality.

As always, the KRA team remains committed to combating inequitable unemployment practices in the U.S., and diligently supporting organizations that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for our workforce and the communities in which we live.