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Author Topic: Seattle Wages Soar! Spread the wealth!  (Read 17387 times)

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No Free Lunch

« on: April 01, 2015, 12:25 »
+2
FYI
Tens of thousands of workers in Seattle are getting a boost in their paychecks starting Wednesday as the city's new minimum wage kicks in, rising to $11 for most workers.

It's the first stage of a law that eventually will raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. It's being phased in more quickly for big companies than small ones.

Seattle's previous minimum wage was $9.47, the same as the Washington state minimum wage.

Local companies have different strategies for dealing with the increased wage. Some are passing the buck on to customers, but others are not.

KOMO News spoke with managers at two Seattle restaurants who say they'll make the higher wage work - with some creativity.

At Ivar's Salmon House in Wallingford, menu prices will be 21 percent higher than before. But to balance, the restaurant will no longer encourage tipping - and is paying minimum wage workers a full $15 an hour - $4 more than required.


cuppacoffee

« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 12:29 »
+4
Has it worked in SeaTac, a tiny Seattle suburb that adopted $15 per hour months ago? It has not.

In a follow-up piece in the Asian Weekly, a handful of workers voiced this displeasure of the new wages unintended consequences:

Are you happy with the $15 wage? I asked the full-time cleaning lady.

It sounds good, but its not good, the woman said.

Why? I asked.

I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation, she responded. No more free food, she added.

The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

What else? I asked.

I have to pay for parking, she said.

Another SeaTac worker, a waitress, said her tips dropped sharply after the new wage law took effect.

Shelma1

« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 12:35 »
+6
So the salmon house will now rake in what used to be tips, and pay their servers what is probably substantially less per hour than they made with those before. There's no way they'd change their policy if it was better for their employees than it is for them.

And other businesses are also taking it out on their employees, because they are so angry that they actually have to pay a living wage. They saved tons of money over the years by not paying salaries that kept up with inflation...I have no sympathy for them.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 13:01 »
+4
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.


ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 13:32 »
+1
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.
Not so: in many low to middle range UK cafes/restaurants, wait staff are on minimum wage.

« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 13:52 »
+5
I have no sympathy for them, either. And I am guessing that companies will start cutting back employee's hours to compensate, too. Greedy ba$tard$ will NEVER let the average working joe and jill make a decent living.

« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 14:33 »
-1
I have no sympathy for them, either. And I am guessing that companies will start cutting back employee's hours to compensate, too. Greedy ba$tard$ will NEVER let the average working joe and jill make a decent living.

some hospitality business make a lot of money in tips. i remember how as a student working in a pub (Bar) where you can rake in a lot depending on your service and PR with your customers. otoh, in certain districts where customers are know to be tight-ar$e stingy SOBs, the waiter/ress are not so lucky.
.. eg serving a full table of 50 ppl after a football match or a company's goingaway dinner, some are known to get tip of a quarter. at the other end of town, the same pub (bar) gets 15% usually.
so it is no surprise that owners get greedy.
many ethnic business do not have this luxury; in fact waiter/ress do not get paid if no customer.
not that the ethnic businesses are crooks, but more so that they cannot compete against the gen-pop businesses.
i guess it is the same with photography and music. some rake in, others barely get leftovers.
somewhere there should be a better solution but no one really cares about these sector of the pop.
believe me, it is not easy being a waiter or a cashier. ppl in general are rude , and do in fact treat these ppl like the old stereotype slaves or maids.
compared to telemarketing clientele where you really do not see their ugly faces, the job of a telemarketers would be considered easy vs that of a waiter/cashier

« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 15:03 »
+2
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.
Nope! That's not correct.  In some countries tips in resturants is even mandatory by law.

« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 15:28 »
0
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.
Nope! That's not correct.  In some countries tips in resturants is even mandatory by law.

 ;D ;D ;Dkeep the change was not invented by North Am. there are equivalence in portuguese, arabic, spanish, mandarin, cantonese, japanese,etc...
so definitely, you don't just tip in USA,CDA,Mexico.

No Free Lunch

« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 16:05 »
-1
I personally know a large pizza store owner that has over $80,000 USD in sales and nets about $25,000 per month and doesn't want to pay his workings over $8 per hour also without any benefits! He drives a fancy 755Li BMW and lives in a 5 million house on the ocean  :-[


« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 16:27 »
-1
I personally know a large pizza store owner that has over $80,000 USD in sales and nets about $25,000 per month and doesn't want to pay his workings over $8 per hour also without any benefits! He drives a fancy 755Li BMW and lives in a 5 million house on the ocean  :-[

Well, good for him.

« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 19:05 »
0
Has it worked in SeaTac, a tiny Seattle suburb that adopted $15 per hour months ago? It has not.

In a follow-up piece in the Asian Weekly, a handful of workers voiced this displeasure of the new wages unintended consequences:

Are you happy with the $15 wage? I asked the full-time cleaning lady.

It sounds good, but its not good, the woman said.

Why? I asked.

I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation, she responded. No more free food, she added.

The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

What else? I asked.

I have to pay for parking, she said.

Another SeaTac worker, a waitress, said her tips dropped sharply after the new wage law took effect.

Let me guess which you you vote.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 23:30 »
0
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.

Not so: in many low to middle range UK cafes/restaurants, wait staff are on minimum wage.


sure but we should be a bit more specific : apprentice waiters that start from scratch cannot expect a decent pay unless they become skilled but there's no reason an experienced waiter should be paid a pittance with the excuse that tips will compensate for it !

even salesmen are paid a basic salary and compensate with commissions on sales but the basic salary alone is usually enough to survive and often they also get free meals and many other benefits.

and yet for whatever reason waiters are the ones scre-wed royally and paid less than someone cleaning toilets.

as if serving tables and smiling at your customers was such a bad thing, it says a lot about business owners in my opinion ... if providing a good service is the last of your priority i can pretty much eat from a coin-operated machine or at mcdonalds ...

do you know the dutch fast food chain FEBO for instance ? you put a coin on the wall and you grab a burger or a snack ... no waiters, no tips ...

http://unlike.net/amsterdam/food/febo

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 23:36 »
+1
I personally know a large pizza store owner that has over $80,000 USD in sales and nets about $25,000 per month and doesn't want to pay his workings over $8 per hour also without any benefits! He drives a fancy 755Li BMW and lives in a 5 million house on the ocean  :-[

25K over 80K sales ? that's a 30% net profit after tax ... which is more or less the norm in the food industry as far as i know, actually restaurants make much more but they have higher costs involved than fast foods or pizza joints.


« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 03:33 »
0
tips are only a north american thing, in the rest of the world waiters are paid a normal salary like everybody else.
Not so: in many low to middle range UK cafes/restaurants, wait staff are on minimum wage.

So are many in Germany, especially seasonal employees.

« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2015, 07:45 »
+3
I personally know a large pizza store owner that has over $80,000 USD in sales and nets about $25,000 per month and doesn't want to pay his workings over $8 per hour also without any benefits! He drives a fancy 755Li BMW and lives in a 5 million house on the ocean  :-[

It's his business. He took all the risks to get it started and keep it going. If the economy tanks again or some other crazy thing drives him out of business, it won't be the employees who have to seek bankruptcy protection.

Besides which, anyone who is self-employed should understand all the other costs and frustrations with running a business. The taxes, the licenses, the insurance and all the other associated costs. He does the hard work, not the $8 an hour employees who just collect a check for sweeping the floor and saying "here's your pizza, sir." The truth is, if working as a low wage worker at a pizza place is all you're qualified to do, then $8 an hour is what you deserve. It's not meant to be a lifelong occupation. It's a job for students who can use a little extra income for gas and dime bags.

Owning your own business is hard. You don't get sick days, you don't get vacation or time off. You make things work or you don't get paid. I've known lots of business owners who have not paid themselves so they could pay their employees, especially when they're businesses are new.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 07:47 by robhainer »

Shelma1

« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2015, 08:19 »
+3
In Utopia, $8/hour jobs are held by high school kids who are on their way to college and making a better living.

In America, the oligarchs buy government representation and lobby to pass laws that benefits themselves and their business interests, which has led to increasing disparity between rich and poor. The U.S. now has the largest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation. They also cut spending on education, making it more difficult for people to get ahead. This leads to adult heads of households struggling to feed their families on minimum wage salaries. It's more difficult to be upwardly mobile in the U.S. than in many other comparable economies.

Yes, business owners take risksbut one of the challenges of starting a business is being able to make that business profitable while paying a living wage to your employees. Insurance, equipment and other associated costs have not been kept artificially low while inflation marches on. The minimum wage has remained stagnant for decades while businesses are making record profits. Paying your employees is a business expense, and it should be an expense that keeps up with the cost of living. If you can't operate a successful business paying what you need for the assets required to run that business, employees included, you deserve to have to declare bankruptcy.

« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2015, 08:29 »
+3
Yes, business owners take risksbut one of the challenges of starting a business is being able to make that business profitable while paying a living wage to your employees. Insurance, equipment and other associated costs have not been kept artificially low while inflation marches on. The minimum wage has remained stagnant for decades while businesses are making record profits. Paying your employees is a business expense, and it should be an expense that keeps up with the cost of living. If you can't operate a successful business paying what you need for the assets required to run that business, employees included, you deserve to have to declare bankruptcy.

It's a minimum wage, not a maximum wage.  There is nothing stopping from anyone paying more than minimum, if the market requires it.  Like McDonald's and Walmart have been forced to raise their wages in the last few days/weeks.  Costco pays more and gets better employees.

Shelma1

« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2015, 08:36 »
+1
"Forced" is the operative word there. Costco does pay more, and treats its employees with respect, and did so without being forced. Walmart (Sam's Club) did so only after succumbing to tremendous pressure after their labor practices were exposed. The Waltons are some of the richest oligarchs in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walton_family

The fact is that many business owners will pay only as much as they're forced to. Which is why we need to force the minimum wage up. The growing disparity between rich and poor in this country is unsustainable.

« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2015, 09:22 »
-6
There should be no minimum wage, at least in developed countries. Market would adjust itself. If no one is willing to flip burgers, wages would rise. If only we kept low skilled, uneducated immigrants at bay - not the intention of politicians and large corporations that finance them.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2015, 09:37 »
+3
50% of new small businesses fail in 5 years or less.

Cornell University and Michigan State University study: After the first year 27% of restaurant startups failed; after three years, 50% of those restaurants were no longer in business; and after five years 60% had gone south. At the end of 10 years, 70% of the restaurants that had opened for business a decade before had failed.

True I understand the current minimum wage is not a living wage. I've worked in the restaurant and bar industry on and off for about 40 years. (I swear - never again!) Getting hired at a good restaurant is not easy, because the work will earn staff good tips and reasonable wages.

They pay minimum wage because tips are expected to bring up the wages to something livable. If it wasn't for the laws, these services industry business might pay No Wages and people would work for tips alone. It used to be that way, not long ago.

Of course the businesses were not required to track and report tips of employees either. People were happy, but the government stepped in to grab their taxes. Now a regulation to increase minimum wage, will pay people more and businesses will find ways to recover the expense. Doesn't seem to be a win except in principle?

Flipping burgers the pay is what the market will bear. If people refused to work for minimum wage, the businesses would be forced to pay more to get "good" employees? If someone wants a job, which involves no training, experience, or special talents, why should the owner assume the responsibility to pay that person and train them too?

I worked in a book store in college and was very happy to have any job at all. Minimum wage, no tips. Worked for the university at the same time, less than minimum wage. How is it the state is exempt from paying minimum wages? And people talk about big business taking advantage of people?

UPS loading trucks at 2AM - 7AM Summer job, paid three times the book store or University. They had a dress code, facial hair code and behavior standards. Paid well but some people wouldn't shave to make the money...

In some ways minimum wage work is like Microstock? People will take 28c a DL and voluntarily work in the market. They walk in, knowing the pay scale and no benefits. Self employed. Some do well, for some it's spare income, some leave.

Minimum wage isn't meant to be a living wage. It's to protect workers from slave labor. Same reason for child labor laws, safety regulations and many others, for work environments. Protection, not entitlements.

Anyone think the Feds should set a minimum commission standard for stock photos artists compensation?

ultimagina

« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2015, 09:50 »
-3
There should be no minimum wage, at least in developed countries. Market would adjust itself. If no one is willing to flip burgers, wages would rise. If only we kept low skilled, uneducated immigrants at bay - not the intention of politicians and large corporations that finance them.

I agree with you on the no minimum wage part. The imposed minimum wage actually eliminates jobs some people would be willing to perform.

But I disagree with your fear of immigrants. It is proven fact that the immigrants actually contribute to the growth of the economy, making life better for everybody, at the end of the day.  Food in America would be 2-3 times more expensive for everybody, without the hard work provided by immigrants. And such examples are numerous and well documented.

No Free Lunch

« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2015, 10:00 »
+1
I personally know a large pizza store owner that has over $80,000 USD in sales and nets about $25,000 per month and doesn't want to pay his workings over $8 per hour also without any benefits! He drives a fancy 755Li BMW and lives in a 5 million house on the ocean  :-[

It's a job for students who can use a little extra income for gas and dime bags.


It's a job for Microstock photographers who can use a little extra income, in some cases their main income, for gas and nickel bags  ;D

« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2015, 10:37 »
-1
There should be no minimum wage, at least in developed countries. Market would adjust itself. If no one is willing to flip burgers, wages would rise. If only we kept low skilled, uneducated immigrants at bay - not the intention of politicians and large corporations that finance them.


I agree with you on the no minimum wage part. The imposed minimum wage actually eliminates jobs some people would be willing to perform.

But I disagree with your fear of immigrants. It is proven fact that the immigrants actually contribute to the growth of the economy, making life better for everybody, at the end of the day.  Food in America would be 2-3 times more expensive for everybody, without the hard work provided by immigrants. And such examples are numerous and well documented.

I'm not against immigration per se. You see, I'm an immigrant myself. But I don't live off government benefits, I'm educated, don't commit crimes, respect the local culture and don't take anyone's job. Take a look at Sweden, the local police made a report saying there are 55 official no-go zones, taken by muslim gangs. Of course you won't ever see that in the mainstream media.

If you immigrate legally to Europe, the bureaucracy is a real pain in the *ss. I did it. While when undocumented illegals invade such countries, they receive free housing, clothes, food, school, medical care and benefits. I can't see how the local people will ever benefit since they're paying for all those costs, while having their wages pushed down and real estate prices pushed up. The only ones who benefit from this scheme are large corporations, who get to pay less and thus enjoy greater profits.

It came to the point where I feel safer walking in a favela in Rio than walking down the street in Malmo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_crime

ultimagina

« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2015, 11:02 »
+1


Hmm, there are consequences and much larger and beneficial economical effects, beyond the rudimentary "explanations" fed by too many extreme right nationalists, eager to blame others to gain votes.

Low skilled immigrants work harder and actually get less benefits from governments than the "natives". They don't feel "entitled" only because they are born between some borders. They take jobs no "native" would want, making things economically possible, boosting growth for everybody.

Or, if they are skilled and educated, they can hit the ground running, they pay above average taxes, without any investment in their education from the adoptive country.

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21635008-and-how-obamas-order-doesnt-how-migrants-help

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21631076-rather-lot-according-new-piece-research-what-have-immigrants-ever-done-us
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 11:07 by ultimagaina »


 

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