National News

Groups urge St. Louis business owners not to lower wages in light of law change

Posted July 17

— A rally Friday held in front of Southwest Diner in the 6800 block of Southwest Avenue kicked off an effort to persuade St. Louis businesses not to lower wages.

The minimum wage workers, faith leaders and local lawmakers who attended were critical of the Missouri Legislature for passing a bill that nullified a minimum wage increase approved by St. Louis leaders in 2015.

"Shame on you for taking away this raise from hard working people," said Mother Teresa Danieley with St. Louis Jobs for Justice.

The city ordinance increased the hourly minimum wage in St. Louis from $7.70 to $10 but didn't take effect until May, 2017 because of a court challenge. The Missouri Legislature passed a bill in May that stopped any city from raising the hourly rate higher than the state minimum wage. It takes effect August 28.

Minimum wage workers spoke at the rally about the struggle to make ends meet.

Alexis Straughtur told News 4, "It's many a time I looked in my bank account and it was like $10. Can I make it to the Monday after next Monday with $10?"

"I will go back to struggling with my family. Right now I'm in the process of getting evicted because I'm not able to afford to pay my rent," said Wanda Roberts.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens told News 4 this week that increase in minimum wage was a mistake by St. Louis

But the owners of Smoki O's Bar-B-Que in the 1500 block of North Broadway said they've always paid more than the minimum wage because it makes for better workers who can live a better life.

"If you're in business I just don't think the $10 an hour is going to break you. It's not going to break McDonalds or any of these restaurants we've got," said Otis Walker.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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