My thoughts on the
Living Wage vote are seriously provoked by a letter to the editor by a local restaurant owner. I feel for her as she explains how much
she has put into her business which she feels is threatened by paying people a decent wage.
I understand her point about tipped
employees doing well, as they can at an expensive or popular place. Still, even tipped employees have a minimum wage and fewer benefits
than regular employees. It’s always struck me as odd that restaurants don’t have to pay their employees because they count on the
customers to do so.
Harris writes of her 17 employees, but how many currently make minimum wage? Not all 17, I am quite sure.
But it is at the end of her letter that I think she blows it by using Chicken Little language. Entrepreneurs cannot avoid
Should the proposed living wage law be passed, we will be forced to make reductions in staff, either to exempt ourselves
from its terms or to avoid closing altogether. If you are happily picturing your “yes” vote to be creating a higher wage for certain
starting workers, stop a moment to realize you are also inevitably leaving a lot of very skilled,
deserving workers with no wage at all.
SHEILA SCOTT HARRIS
Perennials Restaurant, Albuquerque
Heartfelt. “Inevitably” (no one seems to know what the impact will be); “a lot”; “no wage at all” (wow —
anyone familiar with the restaurant business knows servers land on their feet — not that I want any of them to have to). mjh
PS: It’s not terribly relevant, but Ms Harris is the mother of Neil Patrick Harris, formerly TV’s Doogie