For many Americans, July marks the hottest part of the summer season. It’s the time of year for shorts, swimming pools, backyard barbecues and fireworks. However, employees and small business owners across the country will be feeling the heat this July 1st due to 15 separate minimum wage hikes go into effect at the state and local level.
The economic effects of such wage hikes are well documented, and hit less-skilled job-seekers the hardest. In Oakland, California, a wage hike to $12.25 last year played a role in the closure of 10 grocery stores and restaurants in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, while childcare provider were forced to reduce hours and limit the number of children they could serve.
In nearby Berkeley, whose minimum wage is currently $12.53, the coffee shop Mokka closed this summer primarily because of the minimum wage increase. Across the Bay in San Francisco, whose minimum wage is rising to $15 an hour, numerous restaurants—including Abbot’s Cellar, Source, Luna Park, and Roosevelt Tamale Parlor—have closed citing the minimum wage increase as a factor. (Many other stories can be found on Facesof15.com.)
Who’s responsible for this? It starts with the SEIU and its $70 million+ campaign for a $15 minimum wage. In a full-page ad in the New York Times, we point out that SEIU boss Mary Kay Henry is chopping off the bottom rungs of the career ladder: