The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Administration and its allies in Congress push for breaking House logjam on minimum wage hike

  • Print

WASHINGTON - Labour Secretary Thomas E. Perez teamed up with the top Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, to meet Monday with kitchen workers at a local restaurant and deliver a lunchtime plea for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

The increase has been a top second-term political priority for President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress. Obama himself pushed the measure again Saturday in his weekly address.

However, it is stalled in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Asked if he sees any recent movement among Republicans on the minimum wage, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said, "The Republicans are talking to us all the time about whether or not this is going to come up. I appreciate that the GOP leadership has a very hard line against ... But I think before the election, we have a very good chance of passing this."

Miller, who is a longtime confidant of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, is not seeking re-election this year after four decades in Congress. "There are a lot of good moving pieces here around this debate," he said.

The higher wage hasn't passed the Democratic controlled Senate or the GOP-run House. The Senate considered it, but then put it aside. House Democratic leaders have made several pleas to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to schedule a vote.

The Labor Department proposed a rule last week to raise the minimum wage for employees of all federal contractors by Jan. 1, 2015, fleshing out an executive order Obama signed in February. There will be a 30-day period for interested parties to submit comments. The department will review the comments and issue a final rule by Oct. 1.

All the full-time workers at the restaurant visited by Perez and Miller make more than the minimum wage. Co-owners of "Sweetgreen," in the Dupont Circle section of the nation's capital, said workers generally start out at $8.50 an hour for the first couple of weeks during training and then they go to an annual salary.

Asked why they decided to go to a business where everybody makes well over the federal minimum wage, Perez said the restaurant demonstrates that small businesses can still pay higher-than-minimum wages and still "do good and do well. You don't have to make a profit on the backs of your workers."

"I think employees feel great to know that we support them and want them to have a comfortable life. Paying them a fair wage is one part of that," said Jonathan Neman, who is co-owner of the business along with Nicolas Jammet. "If at first you don't succeed, you keep trying.

___

Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bombers look to snap two game slide vs. Montreal

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Did you suffer any damages from Thursday's storm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google