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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 2, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Minimum wage: A coordinated effort to deceive the public on downsides

Guest Columnist Michael Saltsman [“How businesses will respond to $15 minimum wage,” Opinion, June 30], of the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), has a history of lobbying against benefits for workers across the country. His model? Survey hundreds of businesses who already oppose workplace standards and present data as unbiased research.  According to a New York  Times expose, EPI is staffed by Berman and Company, a corporate PR firm that makes millions taking up corporate causes.

In the past year, Saltsman has written scathing posts against workplace standards: He claimed our paid-sick-leave law would reduce benefits or hours, and that a minimum wage increase in San Jose, Calif., would cause job loss, hours reduction and business closures.

However, the University of Washington found that “costs to employers and impact on businesses (of sick leave) are very modest and smaller than anticipated.” In San Jose, government data of employment, wages and hours, show registered businesses increased from 75,000 to 84,000, and more than 4,000 jobs were created just one year after the increase. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, weekly hours for employees in San Jose has stayed the same.

Saltsman was wrong about sick leave, wrong about the minimum wage in San Jose and, likely, wrong about $15 in Seattle.

Nicole Vallestero Keenan, policy director at Puget Sound Sage, Seattle

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15, employment policies institute, Michael Saltsman

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