DETROIT (WWJ) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer in Detroit Monday, pushing for an increase in the state’s minimum wage.
The plan would increase the minimum rate from $7.40 an hour to $9.25 in three years. He said it would then be tied to inflation.
Someone who would love to see that happen is grocery store employee Kim Pierce. She says right now there’s a lot of demand on her minimum wage, part-time check.
“Phone bill, gas bill, lights included, and you’ve got food, you’ve got maintenance to your car, regardless of how old it is – I don’t need to buy any clothes,” said Pierce. “I’ve got grandkids – that I would like to do something, Christmas is coming. I can’t see me trying to make it for them – they want this and that but they understand grandma can’t do it.”
Schauer spelled out details of his plan outside a Detroit business that is already paying its employees more than the going-rate.
“The owner of this business (Avalon International Breads) talked about the importance of raising the minimum wage because it will also help her business,” said Schauer. “It will put more money in the pockets of her customers.”
Schauer says the minimum wage has lost more than 20 percent of it purchase power since its peak.
Ann Perrault co-owner of Avalon International Breads agrees that the minimum wage should increase. Her employees start at more than $8 dollars an hour.
“We try to be a triple bottom line business,” said Perrault. “We are able 15 hours at this point very quickly our average wage is $10.50 an hour.”
Paying workers more than the minimum wage, she feels, allows the workers to contribute more to the community.
Of Americans now earning minimum wage, 85 percent are over the age of 20, and more than half are women.