Letter: Toward better wages

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Toward better wages

Seventy percent of fast-food workers are over 20 years old, and two-thirds of them are supporting a family. About 34 percent of retail workers surveyed by the City University of New York relied on public assistance; only 25 percent have ever used a paid sick day, and only 17 percent have a regular schedule.

The jobs created in the recovery have been 58 percent low-wage jobs. When low-wage workers receive a pay increase, they spend it. A raise in the minimum wage would be a great economic stimulus.

Given that the richest 1 percent have taken 93 percent of the real income growth since the recession, and that the amount taken by Wall Street honchos in bonuses alone was enough to pay $15 per hour to every low-wage worker in the country, the money is obviously available in the private sector.

Aetna is raising its minimum wage to $16 this April, as well as covering more of their employees’ health care costs starting in 2016. Costco has built tremendous employee and customer loyalty by paying a minimum of $11.50 per hour; its retail workers average about $20. Let’s applaud these companies and push for better wages for everyone.