Workers deserve minimum wage hike

DEAR EDITOR:

In Washington, D.C., voters approved a measure that would give workers who rely on tips the same minimum wage guaranteed to everyone else. In D.C. the minimum wage is $15 an hour. Eight states have a minimum wage, whether or not workers earn tips. But in the rest of the country, tipped workers are paid as little as $2.13 an hour, so long as their tips bring up their hourly wage to the federal minimum of $7.25.

In states where tipped workers are paid only $2.13 an hour, nearly one in five waiters and bartenders lives in poverty. In states where they are assured the full minimum wage, about one in 15 does. The voters showed that the evidence is overwhelming. It’s time to eliminate the tipped minimum wage.

Have you ever heard the saying, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work?” A lot of workers put in a fair day’s work and don’t get paid a full fair day’s pay. The culprits of this disparity are billion-dollar corporations that can easily pay their employees a decent wage. These companies commit their thievery in many ways. They stifle workers on overtime and violate minimum wage laws, and they’re requiring employees to buy work clothes and shoes without properly compensating them.

How widespread has corporate wage theft become? Only eight states enforce wage theft regulations. A lot of wage theft complaints never even get looked into. Large corporations can easily afford to pay their workers properly. So why don’t they?

There are a lot of reasons, but No. 1 is that corporate giants give their executives outrageous raises and bonuses. CEOs make double-digit millions and receive a pension worth millions. These CEOs will do anything to maintain their ridiculous salaries. They will cook their companies books, they’ll outsource and downsize, they’ll cut workers’ pensions and they’ll take reckless risks.

Those who run these corporations aren’t going to abandon their ways as long as they can get away with it. The Republican-led House and Senate won’t do or say anything that will endanger their re-election contributions from these corporations.

Remember these things in November, and vote Democrat.

BUD MCKELVEY

Hermitage, Pa.

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