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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 22, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Raising minimum wage in Seattle

Event staff deserve more

A crowd of marches past Seattle Central on Broadway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. [Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times]

A crowd of marches past Seattle Central on Broadway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. [Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times]

I love the city of Seattle and value the many public events that provide enrichment for the city. I have joyfully attended many of these events.

It came as quite a shock to me when, instead of joining in the fun, I was participating in these events as an employee.

The large venues in Seattle contract work with event-staffing companies. The staffing companies demand a high price to supply people, then pay those people a pittance and disrespect them along the way.

This is important because every person who pays to attend large events has a say in where that money goes. Right now, it’s going to companies that take advantage of people who are desperate for employment.

These are the people who are willing to work a lot for small pay. But small pay is made even more insulting when the companies treat people like dirt.

As a ticket purchaser, you are making that event possible. Please take that power and put it to good use. Ask venues to demand better wages and treatment for the workers who ensure that the events are safe and everyone attending them is having a good time.

Natalie Boydstun, Seattle

Small businesses can’t afford it

I am a small-time retail-store owner.

I wish that I could afford an employee, but I can’t. Retail customers are a lot like grapes: They come in bunches. That is the time when an extra employee would be beneficial.

During slow times, employees — and all the costs associated with them — have to be paid for by the business owner(s), even though there is little income.

I don’t think that those who want a higher wage can fully appreciate the fine line there is in them even having a job at all.

Marty McNett, owner of Marty’s Paints, Burlington

Comments | More in Economy, Politics, Seattle | Topics: business owners, employment, labor

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