Seattle is probably going to enact a $15/hour minimum wage

posted at 8:41 am on May 2, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Last November, Seattle elected a straight-up socialist to their City Council who, among other economic/social-justice aspirations, included the already popular idea of a minimum wage hike to $15/hour in her campaign platform. Evidently, the fact that that is now very likely going to happen in a gradual phase-in over the next few years isn’t quite good enough for her, via the NYT:

Mayor Ed Murray presented on Thursday what he described as an imperfect but workable plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage and one of the highest anywhere in the nation, through a series of complex and phased-in stages. Just as crucially, he said, the plan has broad political support, with a coalition of labor and business groups ready to push hard for it at the City Council, starting with the first hearings next week.

But the plan, which in many other cities might be seen as a liberal Democratic agenda at the frontier of social and economic engineering, was immediately attacked not from the mayor’s right, but from his left.

Kshama Sawant, a Socialist Alternative Party member who was elected to the Seattle City Council last year on a single-minded drive to raise wages, said the plan had been “watered down” by business interests on the mayor’s 24-member committee on income inequality, of which she was also a member. In a packed news conference at City Hall right after Mr. Murray’s, she called on her supporters to continue their effort to gather signatures for a possible ballot initiative on wages this fall. The campaign might also put pressure on the Council to make the mayor’s plan better for workers, she suggested. “Every year of a phase-in means yet another year in poverty for a worker,” Ms. Sawant said. “Our work is far from done.”

A handy 21 of the city’s 24 council members are on board with the plan, which designates that large Seattle-based employers (with 500+ employees, no matter where those employees are in the country) start paying the $15/hour rate as soon as 2017 with smaller businesses phasing in by 2021 — and all this despite the fact that Washington already has the highest minimum wage in the country:

Washington is home to the nation’s highest state minimum wage, at $9.32 an hour. As of April 8, 38 states had considered minimum wage bills in 2014, with 34 of them considering increases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia have passed increases. Hawaii is expected to join that list after legislators approved a future hike Tuesday to $10.10, the level President Obama has pushed for nationwide. Workers in several states will see minimum wages of at least $10 in several states within a few years.

States and cities have led the charge as federal legislation has languished. San Francisco started the year with a $10.74 minimum wage, while Sante Fe’s hit $10.66 on March 1. A $15 minimum wage went into effect for some workers on Jan. 1 in SeaTac, the small city that is home to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.

I might add that, while a “coalition of business and labor groups are ready to push hard” for the hike, there are other groups equally ready to push hard against it:

Seattle’s push to become the first big U.S. city with a $15-an-hour minimum wage has hit a snag: opposition from waiters and bartenders. …

“People are talking about moving to a European system of tipping,” says Maloney, 28, meaning less automatic and not as generous. She has become a spokeswoman for a group called Tips Are Wages, appearing in the Seattle Times, KIRO Radio, and other local media to argue for a carve-out that keeps tipped workers at a lower minimum. “I have built a life around the current model of tipping,” she says. …

Restaurants have warned they might boost menu prices as much as 25 percent or force servers to share more of their tips with cooks, dishwashers, and other back-of-the-house staff. …

Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected to the council on her own $15 pledge, calls those suggestions “fear mongering” and says people who cling to tips miss the point. “We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” she says.

Well. So much for the “service” industry.

I would estimate that Seattle will eventually come to regret this decision in the long run, but hey, that’s what federalism and local governance are for, I suppose — a notion that desperate Democrats in Washington are currently refusing to grasp.


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Seattle is a fairly expensive place. Do they really think $15/hour is a “living wage”? Better make it $25, just to be sure.

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Is Ms. Sawant going to eliminate food stamps and subsidies when those workers get to $15/hr since then they will no longer be poor. What is she going to do about it when a Big Mac cost $20?

Kissmygrits on May 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

“Every year of a phase-in means yet another year in poverty for a worker,” Ms. Sawant said.

Henry Ford’s $5 a day was seen as dangerous. And yet nowadays $10 an hour isn’t enough for people to live on.

Raising the minimum wage simply lowers the value of each dollar. the marxists now that but they believe you don’t so they seize on that to gain power.

rbj on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Better make it $25 $50, just to be sure.

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Fixed…

PatriotRider on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Step 1: Drive Out Business
Step 2: Nationalize the Abandoned Factories
Step 3: Profit! Socialist Paradise!

blammm on May 2, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected to the council on her own $15 pledge, calls those suggestions “fear mongering” and says people who cling to tips miss the point. “We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” she says.

Well I was in the mood to eat out at a restaurant…but since the prices are so high….guess I’ll just stay in.

Let me know how jacking up the minimum wage works out for the restaurant owners, cooks and wait staff.

HumpBot Salvation on May 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Seattle mayor details plan for $15/hour minimum wage Detroitifying Seattle

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:42 AM

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

They should just raise it to 45$/hr immediately and be done with it. When prices rise to cover the proposed 15$/hr that will no longer be a “living wage” and more will be required, why drag it out?

wkh on May 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

“We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day.”

What does that even mean? Is ‘customer’ supposed to be ‘employer’?

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected to the council on her own $15 pledge, calls those suggestions “fear mongering” and says people who cling to tips miss the point. “We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” she says.

Fear mongerers! Shades of Chavez.

But have no fear, dim-bulb, those workers won’t have be beholden to any customer’s moods because there won’t BE any customers.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I love it when you heartless h8er rethuglikkans complain about paying people a living wage. It just shows how heartless and full of hate you really are. You’d pay $0.01/hr if you had your way you greedy heartless h8ers.

Murphy9 on May 2, 2014 at 8:53 AM

DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

BigGator5 on May 2, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Seattle: soon to be known as Detroit West.

ConstantineXI on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected to the council on her own $15 pledge, calls those suggestions “fear mongering” and says people who cling to tips miss the point. “We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” she says.

Ahh, I see.

This woman is the dumbest person on the face of the planet. I say Seattle should embrace her whole hog. Let this dim bulb obliterate that city.

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

You can’t live on $15/hr. I think it should be $100/hr, to start, then increase by 25% annually. Hey, if you charge it they will pay. Amiright?

Rufus on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

What does that even mean? Is ‘customer’ supposed to be ‘employer’?

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I’m thinking maybe tips?

I know I would quit tipping if people were making $15 an hour. I’m sure they will still have out their tip jars.

gophergirl on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

But yeah, I wonder if it will be like Minnesota’s new min wage plan: Higher for “large” companies, lower for “small” companies.

Makes total sense because the employees at those different companies don’t buy the same milk and bread. Or something.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

go for it, Seattle. You need to learn the lesson of unintended consequences the hard way!

olesparkie on May 2, 2014 at 8:55 AM

What does that even mean? Is ‘customer’ supposed to be ‘employer’?

NotCoach on May 2, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Socialism is at its core avoidance of responsibility.

ConstantineXI on May 2, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I would estimate that Seattle will eventually come to regret this decision in the long run, but hey, that’s what federalism and local governance are for, I suppose — a notion that desperate Democrats in Washington are currently refusing to grasp.

That’s why we need a federally-mandated minimum wage of around $20! That way these fat cat employers can’t shirk their obligation to their employees! To think people with no marketable skills in 2014 America are making french fries at less than a living wage! They should be making at least as much as an associate professor (who also has no marketable skills).

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:56 AM

In near-future news, Starbucks announced that it was shuttering its last Seattle coffee house because it could not afford the labor costs. The move marks the end of the restaurant business in Seattle.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

“We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day.”

The Science is settled..

People are weak….

Electrongod on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

But yeah, I wonder if it will be like Minnesota’s new min wage plan: Higher for “large” companies, lower for “small” companies.

Makes total sense because the employees at those different companies don’t buy the same milk and bread. Or something.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I’m surprised the Democrats haven’t come up with the idea of charging whites higher prices for everything. For Social Justice.

ConstantineXI on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Note to self: if, for ANY reason, have to spend time in WA state, wear a face mask and drink ONLY BOTTLED WATER from OUT OF STATE.

Whatever’s in the atmosphere/water up there is DEADLY stoopid.

tree hugging sister on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Seattle’s city limits are relatively small. How many businesses will be moving just outside? Of course, annexation because of the loss of revenue might be an issue.

TerryW on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Minimum Wage increases are always followed by job losses, employment stagnation and price increases which decrease business activity.

Government participation in the job market upsets the natural balance to the detriment of workers- not to their benefit.

It’s simple math. One cannot just arbitrarily set a labor rate, based on nothing but fairy dust and someone’s dream last night, and expect no effect on the market.

Stable, predictable wage rates are set by what the market can bear based on tangible economic factors. Artificially set wages, which is what this is, upset that balance and create a negative impact.

This won’t end well for any small business who pays the minimum wage today. You can count on it. It’s simple math and logic. But keep playing peoples emotions.

Marcus Traianus on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

The campaign might also put pressure on the Council to make the mayor’s plan better for workers, she suggested. “Every year of a phase-in means yet another year in poverty for a worker,” Ms. Sawant said. “Our work is far from done.”

In related news, price of a loaf of bread to increase $5.

Axe on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Seattle: soon to be known as Detroit West.

ConstantineXI on May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I am looking forward to going up into the Space Needle, free of charge….
Just have to move the upside down tables, chairs…and ignore the graffiti…

Electrongod on May 2, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Was just in Seattle and a waiter we had at Elliot’s Oyster Bar must have already gotten the memo- he was terrible and to make matter worse, the food was it’s supposed to be hot food was cold.

theblacksheepwasright on May 2, 2014 at 8:59 AM

the food was it’s supposed to be hot food was cold.

theblacksheepwasright on May 2, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Can’t contribute to Global Warming….
:)

Electrongod on May 2, 2014 at 9:01 AM

This is a perfect example of why there should be no Federal Minimum wage.

States and localities are perfectly capable of voting for and setting their own minimum wage. This should be debated at a local level taking into account socio-economic status, population, taxes, and cost of living.

Setting a federal minimum wage simply makes it more difficult for companies to compete for lower-end labor. It evens the playing field among the states in terms of labor.

The federal minimum wage does nothing but cause companies in certain states to pay more for labor than they otherwise would, taking away an avenue of competition for companies who may offer higher wages for the same unskilled labor.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Hmm…if raising it is no big deal, why phase it in differently for large vs. small companies? Shouldn’t they all be able to bear the burden equally? I mean, that small business owner can surely forego increased profit that might be used to expand and hire more, right?

It’s insane to believe that someone flipping burgers should get $15/hour. These are low skill, entry level positions, and pay is commensurate with that. If someone cannot live on the wage they have, then they need to acquire new skills to get a better job. Granted, those are hard to come by in Obama’s economy, but it seems as if the Left is telling these people to give up, that they should remain stuck in those jobs. It’s sad people don’t see this for what it is.

changer1701 on May 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Good GRIEF – do any of these numbnutz understand even basic mathematics?

………………….apparently NOT

Katfish on May 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

More economic tinkering by government. These are the same people celebrating today’s alleged drop in unemployment.

Want to know why that rate dropped? We now have the lowest workforce participation number since 1978. Yes. 1978.

The number of people who dropped out of the labor force soared by 988k people.

Lower population of people to use in your math. Magically, your unemployment numbers go down. Poof!

Marcus Traianus on May 2, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Now I know I’ll never visit Seattle. Not even for a layover if I can help it. No way I’ll support this lunacy. WA is just another libturd paradise. Let them drown in it.

conservative hispanic on May 2, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Now Seattle is another city I can no longer afford to visit.

Sabercat2 on May 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Every once in a while I travel to San Francisco, and they have a law that adds a surcharge to your restaurant bill to cover their employees health care insurance. I deduct it from my tip, and that is the way to overcome stupid laws like these. Of course, when you’re paying an extra couple of bucks for a Big Mac for increase wages, then your only resort is to go to a local joint that doesn’t have to raise prices due to higher wages since they won’t have the minimum 500 workers. The big chains should see this coming and fight it.

HiJack on May 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

It’s insane to believe that someone flipping burgers should get $15/hour. These are low skill, entry level positions, and pay is commensurate with that. If someone cannot live on the wage they have, then they need to acquire new skills to get a better job. Granted, those are hard to come by in Obama’s economy, but it seems as if the Left is telling these people to give up, that they should remain stuck in those jobs. It’s sad people don’t see this for what it is.

changer1701 on May 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

It isn’t insane to believe that in North Dakota where there is a labor shortage…

It does however point out the ridiculousness of the argument that a burger flipper in ND is worth $18/hr, so all burger flippers should be paid the same.

People are not paid only for the job they do. They are paid based on local and regional economies.

The best way to increase wages for low-skilled workers is to increase jobs and pay for higher skilled positions.

Pressure needs to be put on employers to raise wages by creating a shortage of labor. You only cause a shortage in labor by adding jobs, something that hasn’t been happening for 6+ years.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

I’m going to run for president on the single issue of giving every US citizen one million dollars and in return eliminating about 95% of the federal government. The Democratic Party would fold the next day and it would actually turn out to be spending cut looking forward long range. The first thing the people would want is a law ending any future million dollar giveaways.

Buddahpundit on May 2, 2014 at 9:08 AM

In related news, price of a loaf of bread to increase $5.

Axe on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Don’t buy much bread, do you Axe… Bread is already at $5.00 a loaf.

oscarwilde on May 2, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Better make it $25 $50, just to be sure.

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Fixed…

PatriotRider on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Oh, yeah? I’m meet your $25 and raise you another $25. Make it $75. Hey, I’m spending other people’s money. Why shouldn’t I be generous? See how compassionate I am?

Years ago, my beloved and I lived in a jurisdiction that decided to double the sales tax for meals at restaurants. We lived near the county line, so some of the places we frequented were in our own county and some in the next county — until our county doubled the taxes. We never again ate in our own jurisdiction. (And we moved away a few years later. Good riddance.)

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM

So Starbucks will have to start paying the entry level workers $15 per hour everywhere? $15 per hour to sweep the floor at a Starbucks in Little Rock. RIGHT, I’m sure they will welcome that. I see a corporate move coming.

faol on May 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM

In near-future news, Starbucks announced that it was shuttering its last Seattle coffee house because it could not afford the labor costs. The move marks the end of the restaurant business in Seattle.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

In related news, price of a loaf of bread to increase $5.

Axe on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

^ I would not have written “in related news” had I read your “in near-future news” before I commented. It sort of clashes, like unfortunately juxtaposed shades of red. I was going to say “blue,” but I think “red” is more appropriate.

This pointless comment will self destruct — any time now.

Axe on May 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

“We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day.”

When the prices go up for dining out and customers know the waitstaff is now being paid $15 per hour, plenty of them could certainly begin to tip less generously or just stop leaving tips altogether.
In many cases, $15 bucks an hour could very well end up being a pay cut.

lynncgb on May 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Seattle’s city limits are relatively small. How many businesses will be moving just outside? Of course, annexation because of the loss of revenue might be an issue.

TerryW on May 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Bah! Easily fixed, simply forbid businesses from leaving the city limits. Presto Bango, Utopia.

Read much, homophobe?

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Don’t buy much bread, do you Axe… Bread is already at $5.00 a loaf.

oscarwilde on May 2, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Increase $5.

lol — you pay $5 for bread?

Axe on May 2, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Let me see.
$15 x 2080 hours in a year = $31,200
31,200 x .0765 = 2,386.80
+ workman’s comp at $? per $100 in salary
+ unemployment tax
+ $2,000 Obamacare penalty because I will have to kick every employee onto the exchanges because I can’t afford the already roughly $35K it will cost me to employ him/her.

MistyLane on May 2, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Oh, yeah? I’m meet your $25 and raise you another $25. Make it $75. Hey, I’m spending other people’s money. Why shouldn’t I be generous? See how compassionate I am?

Years ago, my beloved and I lived in a jurisdiction that decided to double the sales tax for meals at restaurants. We lived near the county line, so some of the places we frequented were in our own county and some in the next county — until our county doubled the taxes. We never again ate in our own jurisdiction. (And we moved away a few years later. Good riddance.)

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM

My love and I have a similar story. We used to rent a hotel room and go out to eat at restaurants for out of town visitors who came to see us. Then the city passed an occupancy tax of nearly 20% on hotels/restaurants. We now make up the spare bedroom and cook at home, or drive 10 miles to the nearest restaurant outside of city limits. When we do eat out, we get weird looks from waiters when we only tip 15-20% on the actual cost of food/beverage and not 15-20% on the tax-inflated final bill.

Actually got called cheap by a waiter once. I took the time to explain to him that I am not tipping him a percentage on a tax.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:15 AM

It’s insane to believe that someone flipping burgers should get $15/hour.

changer1701 on May 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

This topic was on another forum last night and one commentor, who works in Seattle for a robotics company, said they were pioneering a “McBot” for McDonalds. He estimates within a decade almost all of the behind the counter tasks being handled by automated systems (apparently some locations in the north east will begin the pilot programs next year) – meanwhile one McDonalds in DC, and Im sure there are more, has a self-order/checkout kiosk. Automation is going to destroy a lot of these minimum wage jobs and reshape the lower levels of employment.

Scottie on May 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Seattle is a skeeeny little city. Not hard to put restaurants just outside the city proper, and still be accessible from within the city.

Sekhmet on May 2, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Yes! Please do this! I would love to see how much of an epic fail it would truly be.

God, people are STUPID.

RDE2010 on May 2, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Good. As it should be. Let the states and municipalities choose what they want for a min wage.

tdarrington on May 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM

If fast food clerk jobs are replaced by machines, who will urban thugs assault when they find a pickle on their burger that they didn’t ask for?

Think of the thugs. No justice no peace!

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Minimum wage laws have harmed blacks, especially young black males trying to get entry level jobs.

The Progressives have hammered black families in America: First, by destroying the public education system in urban areas. Second, by raising the minimum wage so that every young man looking for entry level work experience can not get it.

So, why do these Seattle Progressives hate young black men?

tobes on May 2, 2014 at 9:20 AM

In near-future news, Starbucks announced that it was shuttering its last Seattle coffee house because it could not afford the labor costs. The move marks the end of the restaurant business in Seattle.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Automated Starbucks first — punch a button at the counter, slide your card and get your robot-brewed coffee at the other end. One person per shift just to handle any bugs that occur.

jon1979 on May 2, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Seattle is a skeeeny little city. Not hard to put restaurants just outside the city proper, and still be accessible from within the city.

Sekhmet on May 2, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Betchya the next thing is to expand the city limits so as to make the suburbs ‘more livable’.

And destroy them.

But that is, to city planners, just a happy coincidence.

ajacksonian on May 2, 2014 at 9:22 AM

This topic was on another forum last night and one commentor, who works in Seattle for a robotics company, said they were pioneering a “McBot” for McDonalds. He estimates within a decade almost all of the behind the counter tasks being handled by automated systems (apparently some locations in the north east will begin the pilot programs next year) – meanwhile one McDonalds in DC, and Im sure there are more, has a self-order/checkout kiosk. Automation is going to destroy a lot of these minimum wage jobs and reshape the lower levels of employment.

Scottie on May 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM

It is a lot easier to justify the cost of a robot when it is replacing 5 workers @ $15.00/hr instead of 5 workers at $8-$9/hr. Much bigger return on investment the more expensive the labor is.

$156,000 in labor/yr at $15.00/hr for 5 workers.
$83,200 in labor/yr at $8.00/hr for 5 workers.

McDonald’s could spend $291,000 on a robot and get a 25% return on the investment if their labor was going to increase from $8 to $15/hr. This assumes that operation and maintenance cost of the robot would be equal to the additional cost of taxes/benefits on the replaced workers. It would likely be cheaper to operate and maintain the robot than it would be to pay the benefits of those 5 employees.

I am not economist or CEO, but even I could pitch this plan to a board of directors and get approval.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:23 AM

21 of the city’s 24 council members are on board with the plan, which designates that large Seattle-based employers (with 500+ employees, no matter where those employees are in the country) start paying the $15/hour rate as soon as 2017 with smaller businesses phasing in by 2021

An excellent opportunity for GOP governors to step in and poach these businesses.

tobes on May 2, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Seattle is a fairly expensive place. Do they really think $15/hour is a “living wage”? Better make it $25, just to be sure.

CJ on May 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Considering Seattle’s relatively small “footprint”, I suspect most people who work in the service industry (like restaurants) in the town probably live outside the corp limit. This probably makes a difference in their living expenses.

Hopefully, cheaper.

cheers

eon

eon on May 2, 2014 at 9:27 AM

When I was a restaurant Manager, back in the ’80′s, there used to be an exception on Tipped Employees. By law, they could be paid 1/2 the minimum wage (if I remember corrctly, OR’s min wage was around 2.36 back then). I had waitresses…foodservers making full min wage and taking home $100 / day in tips, full benefits.
Employees would work their way through college, leave and enter their profession, and then come back saying “Why do I want to work in that rat race for less money?”
I am a long distance from that industry now, wonder if it has been changed.
Funny though, now that I am 58 and living that rat race for 30 years, being a Mixologist on a Hawaiian Beach Hut Bar at a Westin doesn’t sound such a bad idea.

Whiterock on May 2, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Boeing already moving jobs out of the Seattle area…

albill on May 2, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Yeah, bu-bye tips.

Fallon on May 2, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Soon a cup of coffee at Fourbucks will cost you five bucks.

Galtian on May 2, 2014 at 9:34 AM

how can a city determine what a company pays someone in another state?

dmacleo on May 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Like New York, let the Leftocrats destroy the city using those tools they elect. For every action, there is a reaction. Hopefully, for those who aren’t run out of business by these nonsensical rules, the businesses that survive will move to more friendly business climes. Maybe when they start running out of other people’s money, they’ll finally see the light.

iamsaved on May 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Boeing is leaving, others are leaving, would the last business out of Seattle, please turn out the lights

ConservativePartyNow on May 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM

When I was a restaurant Manager, back in the ’80′s, there used to be an exception on Tipped Employees. By law, they could be paid 1/2 the minimum wage (if I remember corrctly, OR’s min wage was around 2.36 back then). I had waitresses…foodservers making full min wage and taking home $100 / day in tips, full benefits.

Whiterock on May 2, 2014 at 9:28 AM

In Virginia restaurants still pay tipped staff something like half of the minimum wage. The problem is not every server is raking in the dough. The best shifts are usually weekend nights and only so many servers get to work those shifts – and some restaurants rarely rotate these workers because they’re friends of management/been there the longest. I don’t agree with the principle of a minimum wage but I think it’s complete BS that the restaurant lobby was able to carve out this exception when not all of their employees benefit from an equal opportunity to work the best paying shifts. So yes, some are making hundreds in tips and others maybe a few Jacksons for working the weekday lunch shifts.

I see it like Obamacare, its a terrible law but made even worse by special treatment caveats and exceptions.

Scottie on May 2, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Good. As it should be. Let the states and municipalities choose what they want for a min wage.

tdarrington on May 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM

did you miss this part?

which designates that large Seattle-based employers (with 500+ employees, no matter where those employees are in the country) start paying the $15/hour rate

dmacleo on May 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Boeing already moving jobs out of the Seattle area…

albill on May 2, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Isn’t Boeing Headquarters in Chicago?

As I understand the Seattle Proposal, large companies are only required to raise their nation-wide wages if they are “based” in Seattle.

Starbucks on the other hand may have to raise their minimum wage in the rest of the country to $15/hr since they are based in Seattle.

A handy 21 of the city’s 24 council members are on board with the plan, which designates that large Seattle-based employers (with 500+ employees, no matter where those employees are in the country) start paying the $15/hour rate as soon as 2017 with smaller businesses phasing in by 2021

Erika, would a fortune 500 company be required to pay the higher labor rates everywhere in the country even if they only operate in Seattle as opposed to being “based” in Seattle?

Big distinction as either companies will move their Headquarters out of Seattle, or if interpreted the other way companies will shut down their business units in Seattle to save their labor rates across the rest of the country.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Or reading further, does the wage increase only affect the business units in Seattle.

Meaning a company has 20,000 employees and only 200 in Seattle. The 200 Seattle workers must now make the 15/hr a couple of years earlier than they would have to.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

This topic was on another forum last night and one commentor, who works in Seattle for a robotics company, said they were pioneering a “McBot” for McDonalds. He estimates within a decade almost all of the behind the counter tasks being handled by automated systems (apparently some locations in the north east will begin the pilot programs next year) – meanwhile one McDonalds in DC, and Im sure there are more, has a self-order/checkout kiosk. Automation is going to destroy a lot of these minimum wage jobs and reshape the lower levels of employment.

Scottie on May 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Which is why I fully support high minimum wages. It is an even greater incentive to drive automation and invest in capex throughout the labor force.

uatu1878 on May 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Seattle has been so, so envious of the Detroit lifestyle, they are trying to get there as fast as they can. At least the destruction of this great city will not be blamed on the unions. If Seattle’s city government passes this ridiculosity, then they will be be one of the groups of morons in the world to be downgraded to idiot status.

AuAgFinder on May 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I’m surprised the Democrats haven’t come up with the idea of charging whites higher prices for everything. For Social Justice.

ConstantineXI on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Already been done. Wasn’t Democrats that did it though. Done as an example of what affirmative action is really all about. Didn’t play well with the non white crowd.

Oldnuke on May 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

So they are going with the MN plan, pure genius.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM

which designates that large Seattle-based employers (with 500+ employees, no matter where those employees are in the country) start paying the $15/hour rate

Then they will leave Seattle, and Seattle will learn a lesson…or not.

tdarrington on May 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Boeing is leaving, others are leaving, would the last business out of Seattle, please turn out the lights

ConservativePartyNow on May 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Boeing isn’t in seattle. Commercial is hq’ed in Renton and Everett.

Boeing moved hq to chicago due to Defense becoming a larger share of the business and wanted to be closer to DC so they split the distance.

Chicago isn’t a business-friendly city by any stretch of the imagination.

uatu1878 on May 2, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Seattle can wave goodbye to all its Seattle-based companies if this goes through.

Seriously, though, how can a city council set wages for employees of multinational corporations outside the council’s jurisdiction?

I will enjoy watching it play out.

Missy on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Seattle has been so, so envious of the Detroit lifestyle, they are trying to get there as fast as they can. At least the destruction of this great city will not be blamed on the unions. If Seattle’s city government passes this ridiculosity, then they will be be one of the groups of morons in the world to be downgraded to idiot status.

AuAgFinder on May 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Seattle will not turn into Detroit because the demographics are EXTREMELY different.

uatu1878 on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Recently recruited for a job in Seattle. Even before this news, I was no effin way considering a move there. Too close to retirement in a (mostly) red state and who wants to pay $18 bucks for a cup of Starbucks coffee?

SteveInRTP on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Ahhh now Scottie, you have me thinking of when I was 16 (’75) at that same restaurant,working as a Busboyser. The local Union Thug would literally chase me outside and corner me to pay my forced Union Dues of $10 per month. Good times. Yes you are right, doesn’t work for everyone, and as I mentioned, we still paid the full wage. By the way, what do you think about the new trend to “Pool” the tips and then divide them evenly between all. I … frequent a place that does this. I make sure that I leave a tip twice. 10% on my debit card, the other 10% in cash (if the service is good). I doubt the extra 10% makes it to the jar. Well time to join the rat race, after a little car wars on the way.

Whiterock on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Note to my Governor (Perry)- on your next swing through California soliciting corporate moves to Texas, you may want to head up north to Seattle. I would expect there to be some ripe pickings. Just remind them we’re happy to have the jobs, but leave the looney liberal ideas at the Texas border.

Over50 on May 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

would the last business out of Seattle, please turn out the lights

See what you did there. When were those Billboard popular? 80′s?

Whiterock on May 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

So I guess we don’t need a national minimum wage. I salute Seattle for taking the state approach and look forward to years of schadenfreude at it’s expense.

Dongemaharu on May 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

never cared for Starbucks coffee….but it does
have a second use. 30 Weight oil in your vehicle…

ToddPA on May 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

and who wants to pay $18 bucks for a cup of Starbucks coffee?

SteveInRTP on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

I’ve always wondered why anyone would pay more than 15 cents for a cup of that swill. Hardee’s has better coffee.

Oldnuke on May 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Well, as a lawyer my minimum hourly fee is $250 per hour. So I suggest that all lawyers in Seattle also get the guarantee of $250 per hour as well as getting guaranteed getting paid at least 40 hours per week.

georgealbert on May 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM

It is a lot easier to justify the cost of a robot when it is replacing 5 workers @ $15.00/hr instead of 5 workers at $8-$9/hr.

I am not economist or CEO, but even I could pitch this plan to a board of directors and get approval.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Contractor here on the east coast. Much of what we do requires paying prevailing wages. Today, wages, benefits and burden (workers comp., unemployment insurance, etc.)for an equipment operator is approximately $92.00 per hour, laborers and carpenters over $75.00 per hour. I do everything I possibly can to automate what we do. It is the only way to keep up with an economic system where cost continue to rise, yet the price of service has been stagnate for well over 7 years. We figure that if one machine that can eliminate one employee on a jobsite it is worth investing 5 times an employees yearly wage. We have gone from being a 10 employee, 2 crew company to an 8 employee 2 crew company, doing relatively the same amount of work and maintaining our margins even when all other costs have jumped 20, 50, and even 100% (fuel).

Robots and automation are the future. You still need good people operating them, just fewer and smarter people.

CTSherman on May 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM

The only consolation in all of this is a that a lot of Obama voters are going to lose their jobs.

I defy this Socialist to tell me how it is worth $15 an hour to punch buttons with pictures on them at a McDonald’s, dispense cups of coffee, or hand bags of food to people in cars. I can’t believe my son makes
$8 an hour taking orders at a Panera. And guess what, it’s a “living wage” for him, even at just 25 hours a week! He pays his own rent, albeit with two roommates in an old house in a not-so-great part of town, food, gas, car insurance, and an occasional movie or dinner out.

If you can’t live on $8 an hour you’re doing it wrong.

rockmom on May 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

So Starbucks will have to start paying the entry level workers $15 per hour everywhere? $15 per hour to sweep the floor at a Starbucks in Little Rock. RIGHT, I’m sure they will welcome that. I see a corporate move coming.

faol on May 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I look forward to Starbucks announcing that it’s moving to Waco, Texas, and changing its name to Lone Star Coffee.

BuckeyeSam on May 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Seattle can wave goodbye to all its Seattle-based companies if this goes through.

Seriously, though, how can a city council set wages for employees of multinational corporations outside the council’s jurisdiction?

I will enjoy watching it play out.

Missy on May 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

It can’t. This is all just political theater. It would be like NYC trying to impose a minimum wage on Citigroup which has 50,000 employees and only about 2000 of them in New York.

rockmom on May 2, 2014 at 10:07 AM

What’s the problem? The businesses will simply absorb the cost of having to business, right? Right?

rightside on May 2, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Next up: Price fixing to control the spiraling inflation.

You’ll have $30/hour cashiers selling 50-cent gallons of milk and 25-cent loaves of bread.

Just look for the “progressive” label.

Bruce MacMahon on May 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Seattle is probably going to enact a $15/hour minimum wage

State’s City’s Rights! Heh.

rukiddingme on May 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Or reading further, does the wage increase only affect the business units in Seattle.

Meaning a company has 20,000 employees and only 200 in Seattle. The 200 Seattle workers must now make the 15/hr a couple of years earlier than they would have to.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

this is what I am wondering as its sort of unclear.

dmacleo on May 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Evidently Detroit is not enough of proof of concept. So go ahead Seattle….let…it…burn.

wsucoug on May 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Not every job was intended to provide a lifestyle for the employee — hence the term “living wage” is a progressive fallacy designed to cover the simple fact that jobs do not exist so that people can feed their families and buy cars and homes.

Jobs exists because businesses need assistance in bringing their goods and services to the marketplace.

CharacterOfCongress on May 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Maybe now we’ll see how Socialism truly works for a local society.

RdLake on May 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I look forward to Starbucks announcing that it’s moving to Waco, Texas, and changing its name to Lone Star Coffee.

BuckeyeSam on May 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Yeah, Starbucks is part of the problem, but the liberal bosses are just too stupid to know it. Let…them…burn too.

wsucoug on May 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM

“We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” she says.

Nope, you just want them beholden to the government.

Cyhort on May 2, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Great ! Now all Seattle need do is create a bunch of job tasks worth $15 an hour.

lel2007 on May 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

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