Hodges rightfully opposes increase

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced last week her opposition to increasing Minneapolis’ minimum wage, saying she would prefer to see wage increases on regional, state or federal levels.

Hodges has appeared at previous wage rallies and spoken in favor of increases to the minimum wage.

As of last August, Minnesota’s current minimum wage is $6.50 for small employers and $8.00 for large employers. These numbers are scheduled to increase in August 2015 and once more in August 2016.

In recent months, individual cities have begun to raise their minimum wage levels. Most notable among these is Seattle, which established a $15 hourly minimum wage last year. Hourly wages in both San Francisco and New York City will match that value by 2019, by which time Chicago will have introduced a $13 hourly wage.

We support the mayor’s decision to focus on statewide, not citywide, reforms. Unlike Chicago, Seattle, New York and San Francisco, Minneapolis sits immediately beside an equally attractive city, St. Paul, which could become a haven for businesses looking to evade any wage increases confined to Minneapolis.

However, while we wait for statewide wage increases, we would like to see other measures designed to help hourly workers, including legislation to forewarn them of their work schedules at least one week in advance. The labor group Working America and Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, proposed similar legislation last week.

We hope this sparks valuable discussions on how to help improve the status of hourly workers.