Don't pass amendment to minimum wage hike

February 7, 2014

With the passage of Senate Bill 6, the minimum wage will increase to $7.75 an hour June 2014 and $8.25 June 2015. But if the GOP state legislators (and a few Democrats) have their way, even this increase will not apply to all workers.

Rep. Ramone sponsored House Amendment 4 several weeks ago that would allow employers to pay some workers 75 percent of the minimum wage. It failed, but he plans to re-introduce it as a bill when the Legislature re-convenes in March. Two Democrats along with every GOP voted for HA4.

Aside from the utter lack of fairness, who can't see the abuse this bill would allow? How many employers would hire someone for five months and then lay them off and hire someone else? Who decides what is "seasonal?" Is December seasonal?

Ramone et al want to pay some workers $5.81 an hour in June 2014 and $6.19 in June 2015 - both below the current minimum wage.

A number of local groups fought for a $10 an hour minimum wage tied to a cost of living index. Minimum wage workers will receive much less. Yet some legislators don't want all workers to get even the meager increase the bill stipulated.

The Feb. 3 New Journal had a Delaware Voice article by Ramone. Ramone’s premise is false. Does he really think $7.75 an hour will allow a person to "meet basic living standards?" And does he really want us to believe he and other business owners can't give this increase to all because it will "negatively impact them so much they will eventually lay off employees?."

I advocate for no exceptions to the minimum wage increases that just passed in the General Assembly.

Rex Shipp

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