The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 25, 2012

Advocates on both sides of minimum-wage debate gear up

Separate campaigns to boost the minimum wage around the country and in Missouri are building momentum, and advocates on both sides of the question are gearing up for a fight.

This week, rallies were held around Missouri and elsewhere in the country to draw attention to the issue of the federal minimum wage.

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage went up, said Sean Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, a nonprofit group supported by churches, unions and community action organizations.

Progress Missouri also is behind an effort to get a $1 minimum-wage increase on the November ballot in Missouri.

Nicholson said the group has more than the 350,000 signatures required to get the measure on the ballot. It is awaiting certification of the signatures by the Missouri secretary of state. That is expected around Aug. 7, he said.

Legislation in Congress, meanwhile — including the Rebuild America Act introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and a similar proposal by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. — calls for stepping up the federal wage floor to $9.80 an hour by July 1, 2014.

The minimum wage in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma is $7.25 an hour, as is the federal minimum wage.

‘A good thing’

Jim Martino, owner of the Mall Deli in Pittsburg, Kan., said Tuesday that he believes it is time for the minimum wage to rise.

“My first reaction is, ‘That’s a good thing,’” he said. “When the last increase went into effect, I was all for it. It affects me directly because we employ a lot of minimum wage-plus people, but it has been years since it was raised.”

Martino said a wage increase might force him to increase prices at his popular destination, but he said it also could be a shot in the arm for a sagging economy.

“Most business owners have to keep their payroll at a certain percentage of sales, so you do what you have to do, but for the general economy it’s great,” he said.

Martino acknowledged that a raise for his minimum-wage earners would mean raises across the board.

“You have some at minimum wage, but for those people that were above minimum wage, you have to reflect that change in their wages also,” he said. “It doesn’t just affect those at the very bottom. It affects everybody.”

Nicholson said that right now, an employee working full time for minimum wage earns barely $15,000 a year.

“If you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to make a living,” he said.

Pay for CEOs and other top executives continues to rise, and Nicholson said that had the federal minimum wage been adjusted for inflation since it started in 1968, it would be more than $10 an hour.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter