Readers respond: $7.25 vs. $10.10
HCN’s recent article about the continuing minimum wage debate struck a cord amongst its readership.
Readers weighed in from both sides of the aisle, advocating for "business-friendly" alternatives to hiking the federal wage requirement as well as testifying to the positive, revenue-boosting impact of paying employees a living wage.
Here they are below.
"I think it’s great that Gina Schaefer & Paul Saginaw want to pay their workers more, and they have the money to do that – they should. They have high profit margins and can afford to do that great for them. However, the companies that can NOT and must compete with the Chinese .40 cents an hour and NO benefits can not survive and do that ! It doesn’t give them the RIGHT to tell other companies how to run their business – because we have a FULL graveyard of companies out of business today and more going out tomorrow. Government needs to focus on more important things then minimum wage – business will take care of itself. Good skilled works will find jobs with higher wages on they OWN. If there are companies with their doors still open. NO company – NO job period ! If business doesn’t success – then either will the country – period !!! Government go fix social security for the workers who you already took they money weather it was high or minimum wage."
"I agree $7.25 is not a living wage. But as a small business owner in a very small town, we find it very difficult to find good help even at a larger starting wage. I would like to see a $7.25 starting wage for about the first 3 to 6 months to see if they will work out. only then go to a minimum larger wage. Many times the choices of applicants is slim & can’t handle the job. At that point I feel the money has been wasted."
"A friend recently got a job at a big box retailer. He knows the products already. It’s part time. Wage: $8.75/hour. Then they have the nerve to say "we have an app for your smartphone that will help you help customers find things". Really, give the poor guy a phone then. Lucky if he gets $200/wk after holdings. How could he even afford a smartphone. I truly believe if people were paid better, the economy would grow faster. As mentioned, if you pay well, employee’s care a lot more, without being asked; they will take pride. I had a boss once, that would walk up to me couple times a year "there will something extra in your paycheck next week for the great job your doing (it was several hundred, or even an entire weeks pay). I can’t tell you how much difference that made, being acknowledged financially, and not just a quote of "keep up the great work", (for the same pay). At another job, I got a raise that was 2.5%, which amounted to $20/wk, whoopee. Especially when the cost of living when up 10%. A 2.5% raise can be a decent amount if you already making near $100,000. When you make $35,000, it’s not much at all. Pay well, and your business will be rewarded 10 fold."
NRF highlights an “increasing threat to retailers”
The National Retail Federation doubled down Tuesday on one if its long-standing initiatives: getting patent troll legislation pushed through Congress.
NRF SVP David French submitted a statement to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, which is currently investigating the trolls’ use of vague demand letters to sue businesses for using what are often ubiquitous technologies.
“Trolls’ claims not only affect e-commerce applications and the everyday use of technology, but also…the storefront operations of traditional brick and mortar retailers,” wrote French. “Some real world examples…cover point of sale and inventory control equipment, including; scanning barcodes, printing receipts, the sale of gift cards, and the connection of…a computer or printer to an Ethernet network.”
“Trolls target retailers because…they are more numerous than manufacturers and suppliers, and therefore are more profitable to the trolls,” he continued. “Trolls also know that retailers have less technological expertise to defend the allegedly infringing products [and] operate on thin profit margins and do not have the resources to fight back.”
Charged with developing and implementing advocacy strategy for the organization, French is the NRF’s chief lobbyist. He is credited with influencing several key legislative battles for businesses, including the passage of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and repeal of OSHA ergonomics regulations. He has also co-chaired the lobbying committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace .
Previously, he served as SVP government relations and public policy at the International Franchise Association, and he led the government relations programs at the International Foodservice Distributors Association and Food Distributors International before that. He has also spent nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill as a staffmember of former Senator Rick Santorum, of Representative Matthew Rinaldo and the House Select Committee on Aging.
The NRF has been advocating for a version of the Innovation Act that requires greater transparency from demand letters and helps nip such infringement claims in the bud before they ever reach court.
Leviton products earn accolades
Melville, N.Y.-based Leviton has received three ”Product of the Year” category awards from an electrical industry magazine for the OmniTouch 7 Touchscreen, Zipline LED Platinum and ODC Series Sensors.
“We are honored to be recognized for three awards," said William Marshall, senior VP sales and marketing. “At Leviton, one of our core initiatives is the development of innovative and unique products that span a wide range of industries and provide our customers with solutions to meet their unique applications.”
The Electrical Construction & Maintenance Product of the Year Awards showcase innovative products of the year and honor excellence in electrical product development and enhancement, including the following Leviton products:
• Zipline LED Platinum: Winning in the category of “Luminaires (Troffer Retrofit),” Zipline delivers an integrated modular solution for a fast and simple high-performance LED lighting retrofit installation. Available in 2×2 and 2×4, the revolutionary modular design offers unmatched installation efficiency. Compact, integrated pre-wired drivers and lighting array holders mount into the existing fixture’s housing using pressure-fit technology.
• OmniTouch 7: Leading the category of “Controllers and Relays,” OmniTouch 7 is Leviton’s latest capacitive touch, glass front touchscreen, featuring a 7-in. high-resolution screen for controlling security, lighting, HVAC systems and entertainment settings in residential and commercial applications.
• ODC Series Sensors: Recognized in the category of “Lighting Controls (Relays & Sensors),” Leviton’s ODC Series Sensors simplify energy management with an easy-to-install self-contained solution. Occupancy sensor models include line voltage occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and manual-ON/auto-OFF override control in a single unit with no special control stations required.