Area businesses weigh in on minimum wage law

In a little over a month, the minimum wage in St. Louis is set to drop.

ST. LOUIS - In just over a month, the minimum wage in St. Louis is set to drop. Now, workers and labor organizations are pressuring businesses not to reverse the recent pay hike. It will be up to St. Louis City businesses whether or not to revert back to the $7.70/hour or to keep the higher $10/hour.

When the owner of Crown Candy Kitchen in North St. Louis initially heard about the ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $10/hour and then eventually to $11/hour, he said he was caught off guard.

"Nobody came and talked to us about it,” said Andy Karandzieff, one of the owners of Crown Candy Kitchen. “No politicians, no one said 'hey, we want to do this, we want your input,'" he explained.

Karandzieff said better communication was needed between city government and business owners. But, now that everyone has adopted the $10 standard, he said he’s keeping it.

"If I have a new hire, probably, in reality, I will hire them at 10-bucks an hour, I won't go to $7.70," Karandzieff said.

Soon after the wage increase, Missouri legislators passed a bill to bar local governments from raising the minimum wage.

"What I've heard from my members because of the action of the governor is very simply, now they get to make a decision, do they buy food for their children or do they pay rent to their landlord," said the president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655, David Cook.

Each individual business will have to decide for themselves.

In an email to five on your side, Schnuck Markets Incorporated tells us: “Wages that were adjusted at our eight St. Louis City stores when the city initially enacted the ordinance will revert back to the pay scale that’s been agreed to in our teammates' union contracts.

Other businesses, like Crown Candy, will keep things the same.

It's just kind of a bar that's been set here and I'm not going to lower the bar," Karandzieff said.

If Greitens does not veto this bill before Sunday, the 16th, the lower minimum wage of $7.70, will become law. That would go in to effect on August 28th.

© 2017 Associated Press


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