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Old 07-24-09, 07:37 AM
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Minimum Wage Increase Begins Friday

Minimum Wage Increase Begins Friday
By Tim Gerber | KSAT.com

POSTED: Thursday, July 23, 2009
UPDATED: 10:26 pm CDT July 23, 2009


SAN ANTONIO -- Friday marks the start of increased wages for America's lowest paid workers.

The minimum wage is set to increase $0.70, jumping from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. Congress passed the increase two years ago before the recession took hold. Some argue the increase will help the working poor survive the economic downturn while others argue making small business owners pay their workers more could result in layoffs, closings and reduced hours as they try to meet the higher pay roll.

Lucille Hooker co-owns the Jacala Mexican Restaurant located at 606 West Avenue. She said the increase will only impact a handful of her employees. She said most of her restaurant's 60 workers already make more than the increased minimum wage. She says the 15 bus boys she employees will be the only employees affected by the higher wage.

Hooker said having to increase those workers pay will result in less incentive raises because she'll no longer be able to afford them.

"We would start them at $6.55, and then say we're going to raise you a quarter at a time, and it gave them a little bit of an incentive to do a better job than the guy next to them, but starting them at $7.25 we don't have as much leeway to do that."

Only time will tell what impact if any the wage increase will have on the recession.

Copyright 2009 by KSAT.com All rights reserved.

Minimum Wage Increase Begins Friday - San Antonio News Story - KSAT San Antonio
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