Employers Prepare for Minimum Wage Increase - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/18/07-Nacogdoches

Employers Prepare for Minimum Wage Increase

Texas Workforce Solutions is providing last minute reminders to employers. For a week Kristy Castle-Royal has been visiting Nacogdoches businesses with employee rights posters. She starts the visit saying,  " I'm here today to tell you about the minimum wage increase that's taking place on July 24th."

The wage increase comes as no surprise. Neither do the reactions.   Royal said,  " Some gripe about it, but I haven't had that big of a shocker because they were aware. " Other employers support the increase, even though it won't affect them directly. A glass company manager, Rachel Upchurch said,  " We're gonna have business as usual as far as minimum wage because we pay well over minimum wage. Of course, we don't expect minimum work, so we don't pay minimum wage. "

Minimum wage workers may not like that generalization. The raise builds morale for Susan Floyd, a waitress at Mr. Wills Restaurant.     In between waiting tables she said, " Just helps knowing you make a little bit more when you work. Makes you want to work harder. " Paula Hicks, a single mom of three has also held down minimum wage jobs. " You know with minimum wage you got to work every hour you can work. You stay at work. You don't get to spend enough time with your kids. "

The minimum wage increases are designed to help the workforce catch up with a cost of living that rose 26% percent since the last minimum wage increase a decade ago.  Next year the hourly minimum wage will go to $6.55. Consumers may not notice the change in the minimum wage increases for another three years. That's when it goes up to $7.25. But Texas Workforce Solutions site manager Melony Brown is expecting some layoffs now. She's concerned some employers may be reluctant to meet the requirements.  " Right now we're anticipating that some of the business that can absorb that expense will have fewer staff to serve the customers that are coming into their business, "  said Brown.

Restaurant owner Will Rollins employees about ten minimum wage workers. He  disagrees with the idea of laying off or not replacing workers.      " That argument doesn't fly. What good business people are gonna do is pass that cost onto the consumer and go and reward their employees, " said Rollins.   Something Rollins has already done.   He said,  " The cost of a hamburger went up Monday. We raised the price on a lot of things. " And Rollins isn't worried about running off customers. He knows everything is going up in price right along with the minimum wage.  

by Donna McCollum KTRE

Story provided by KTRE Raycom Media. All rights reserved.

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