1987 - 1988

October 2 1987

Wage raise possible

Maine South students could be soon affected both directly and indirectly if a new law to incrase the minimum wage were ratified by Congress. Since Ronald Reagan took office in 1982, the minimum wage standard has remained unchanged. However, Senator Edward Kennedy and House Representative Augustus Hawkins proposed that the minimum wage be increased to $4.50 an hour, although some people would like it to be increased to $5.05 an hour over a period of five years.
Since 1938, the minimum wage has gradually increased as follows

1938: $.25 an hour
1945: $.40 an hour
1950: $.75 an hour
1960: $1.00 an hour
1978: $2.65 an hour
1980: $3.35 an hour

Today, minimum wage is only about 38 % of average worker's papy.
There are many controversial views on this issue. Mark A. de Bernardo, manager of labor at the Chamber of Congress, dislikes the idea of the minimum wage increase. He states that it would force employers to raise prices, cause employers to fire marginal workers, and give less service attention to customers.
However, the Kennedy-Hawkins bill is expected to pass in the House and the Senate by this fall. If the President vetoes the bill it is doubted that Congress will be able to override the Presidential veto.
Yet, if the bill does in fact pass the House, Senate, and the President, it may mean paying more for that hamburger from a fast food restaurant, and it may even mean a harder time finding a job.