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Costco, Eileen Fisher and Small Business Owners Nationwide Support Fair Minimum Wage Act Introduced Today In Congress


Washington DC – Business owners applauded the introduction today of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) and Rep. George Miller (CA) introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $10.10, then provide for annual increases linked to the rising cost of living. The Fair Minimum Wage Act would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time in more than 20 years from an abysmal $2.13 an hour at present to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage.

“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” said Craig Jelinek, Costco’s President and CEO. “We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low. An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”

Andy Shallal, owner of a group of restaurants – Busboys and Poets and Eatonville – located in Maryland, DC and Virginia, said, “Busboys and Poets was founded in 2005 and started with 30 employees. Today we have over 500 employees. Fair pay is fundamental to our success. Our minimum wage at Busboys and Poets and Eatonville is $10.25 per hour. I just signed another lease last month for another Busboys and Poets! Don’t believe it when you hear business will suffer if the minimum wage goes up. It will help our economy grow and thrive.”

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