SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Marchers from the nation’s capital to the Capital City on Tuesday called for the federal minimum wage to jump by more than $2 an hour, but some small business owners say that would put them out of work and put more people on the unemployment line.
Minimum wage protesters in Sacramento chanted things like “We live in the Golden State. Shouldn’t we earn a golden rate?”
They marched on the Capitol in support of a bill making its way through Congress that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to nearly $10 dollars an hour.
“I’m struggling from check to check, and I know I’m not the only one,” marcher Jimell Moore said. “Just want to make change. You either have to live in the worst part of town, you either have to subject yourself to that, or try to find a better means.”
Minimum wage workers such as Moore say they don’t want more than the rest. They just want a fair shake at living the American dream.
“As long as I’m alive and well, kicking, I want to work,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. See dad go to work and provide for us.”
But some business owners are flipping their lids at the thought of having to shell out even more money for workers.
Eric Ostberg, owner of the well-known Squeeze Inn restaurant in West Sacramento, says he’s already being squeezed by rising produce and dairy costs.
“It’ll cut into our bottom line,” he said. “It’s California. Sometimes that bottom line is just scraping by anyways.”
But not all business owners are opposed to the idea.
Dr. Saul Alkaitis, owner of Holistic Dermaceuticals in West Sacramento, says the increase wouldn’t affect his business. His workers already get paid an average of $16 an hour.
“They have to live,” he said. “It’s not a question of if I support it, it’s a question of what kind of society you want to have. We have situations now where people have to work two jobs just to make ends meet, actually within the family three jobs. So what kind of life is that?”