Minimum wage going up

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

We are going to see some change Tuesday; change, literally and figuratively.

Seventy cents worth of change to be exact.

About 34,000 workers in Indiana were making minimum wage in 2006. That is part of the almost 2,000,000 Americans, or less than two percent of the entire work force, making minimum wage or less.

We went to talk to some local workers.

"When you're at a position now that you're losing money, it's throwing more water on a drowning man, even as small as it is," explains Kevin Kwiatkowski, owner of K's Grill and Pub in South Bend.

Kwiatkowski says none of his employees make minimum wage.

"If you find some good people, you want to keep them, and one of the best ways to entice them to stay here and to retain those good people is to pay them a little bit more."

But he still fears for local, small operations.

"The small guy, the guy who has to pay the minimum wage, he's going to be going out of business."

Next we checked out Ritter's Frozen Custard. Some of its employees do make minimum wage.

"It is going to make an impact on who we hire and how many we hire because with having to pay more for employees we're going to have to hire more experienced ones so we can get the most out of them," explains the shop's manager, Erin Jarusewic.

The change will be gradual.

On Tuesday, minimum wage will go from $5.15 to $5.85. In a year, it will be raised to $6.55. And in July 2009, the wage will increase to $7.25.

As for the workers, they are thrilled about this change; it is a different view from a flip side of a coin.

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