Area organization opposes minimum wage proposal

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Area organization opposes minimum wage proposal _6105496055109141144

The minimum wage in New York State may increase by 17 percent.

The proposed minimum wage increase would pay an employee $8.50from the current $7.25.

One area organization is opposing the legislation.

The Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commercesays the potential increase in minimum wage can hurt area businesses, as wellas future and current job seekers.

The Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, which serves as onevoice for the area business community says there are more negatives thanpositives.

The Executive Director says with the proposed increase, itwill be unaffordable and essentially eliminate jobs.

“One of the examples that was given in our councilmeeting is that if they have two employees , the potential increase in minimumwage will decrease it to one employee,” said Pamela Matt.

The organization has drafted a resolution to oppose theincrease.

But, Frank Cristiano, the owner of Tony’s Pizzeria inWashington Mills says he understands why the raise in minimum wage is needed.

“I’m not opposed either way if it happens.  I’m not upset about it because I understandpeople have to earn more to pay their cost of living with the economy and themarket the way it is and the general cost of everything going up,” explainedCristiano.

However, Frank says he realizes there may be consequencesfor small business owners.

“The problem is that if there is an increased inminimum wage you’re going to see an increase cost for consumers because storeshave to recuperate for what they have to put in for an increase cost in minimumwage,” said Cristiano.

Laura Misiaszek, owner of the Olde Wicker Mill in New Hartfordsays she is in favor of the minimum wage increase.

She says if the legislation becomes a reality, smallbusinesses will probably end up picking and choosing who works for them.

“We have to be fair with our employers. Our employeesare our best assets. We can’t do what we do without them. It will make thebetter employee shine. You’re going to keep the ones who are most productive,”said Misiaszek.

The Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce will present theiropposition tomorrow to the board of directors.

If it is passed, the organization will present their legislationto area elected officials.

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