So, yesterday, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure to raise the minimum in Seattle to $15 an hour.
Yup...$15 an hour. For ANY job in Seattle.
In case you couldn't tell...I don't think this is a smart thing to do. Never in my life have I wanted to own a Subway just outside Seattle City limits quite so badly. I pick a Subway because Dave Jones, owner of two Subway franchises in Seattle, estimates that raising his employees from $10.50 an hour to $15.00 an hour is going to cause him to have to raise the price of a sandwich by over a dollar.
The only good news is that he will have until 2017 to figure it out, as they are phasing in the new minimum wage, with it taking effect in anywhere between the next 2 and 7 years. If you are part of a large company(> 500 employees), then it's 2017. If you own a small company, and allow for tips/benefits, then you have until 2021.
Unfortunately for Mr. Jones, while his two stores don't have more than 500 people, as a member of a franchise, he is considered A Large Employer.
Good for him. Welcome to the big time, you Evil Giant Corporation, you.
Of course, even this $15 minimum wage is not enough for some people. Because the measure, as passed, includes a 'training wage' for teenagers and disabled persons, Kshama Sawamt, a member of the Socialist Alternative Party, who ran on the $15 minimum wage platform, 'denounced her council colleagues as corporate representatives posing as the progressive alternative to the Republican Party'.
Sorry...I just threw up in my mouth a bit after typing that.
Anyway...the part that really makes me laugh, is the people talking about how 'reasonable' it is that the council has decided to phase in this new higher minimum wage, instead of just dumping it on folks.
I supposed that is one way to look at it. Or, you could be cynical like me, and say 'look, they get credit for passing this measure, and now they are going to get to get re-elected before the worst parts of the bill start having a negative effect on the local economy!'