Local businesses and employees react to California minimum wage increase

September 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Over the next three years, California's minimum wage will increase to $10 an hour, making it one of the highest rates in the country.

The service industry will be impacted by this bill in a huge way around the state, but it's drawing some very heated and different reactions here in the Valley.

Business owners tell Action News, it's a job killer -- but some of their employees say the two dollar hike will give them a much needed break in a tough economy and help them take care of their families.

Business at Sal's is busy as usual on Thursday night. The family operated restaurants has served Mexican food to Valley families since 1942. But Lorraine Salazar worries about how a newly approved bill will impact her and the 150 families she employs.

"I want to keep those families employed but we have other operational costs that have pressure," said Lorraine Salazar, Sal's Mexican Restaurant.

Salazar has issues with AB10. The state senate and assembly approved the bill to raise California's minimum wage from the current $8 dollars an hour to $10 by 2016.

This is the first increase in the state's minimum wage in six years. Opponents say this bill paired with the Affordable Healthcare Act makes it difficult to operate. "We are all trying to figure out how we are going to afford the healthcare act, afford this minimum wage, stay in business and continue to grow our business and offer jobs and what I see is you're going to have a contraction in jobs."

Supporters of the bill says the passage gives those in the service industries including fast food workers, and those in retail -- a much better quality of life.

"Being in the Valley and being as poor as it is, it will probably help them make ends meet and maybe not have to use as much aid that's out there," said John DuFresne, Coarsegold.

The bill is now on the governor's desk. The governor has indicated he will sign the bill and has called it an overdue piece of legislation.


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