Seattle minimum wage workers already losing 401k, paid vacation benefits

This week, liberals and socialists gained a major victory in Seattle after the council voted in favor of a $15 minimum wage that will be imposed over a several-year period that depends on what group you belong to.

Proponents of the legislation say it would help the impoverished make a living wage and that it was time businesses starting paying their low-wage workers a decent income. Opponents, meanwhile, warned that businesses would start letting go the most vulnerable, such as the unskilled and immigrants, and there would be varying unintended consequences that would hurt a substantial amount of people.

Well, companies are already adapting to the economic environment by passing the cost onto the consumers and getting rid of benefits that were afforded to minimum wage workers, according to local reports and blogs posted by the Washington Policy Center.

For instance, this photo (see below) shows that companies are charging consumers a “living wage surcharge” that was roughly eight percent, or $6.93 on an $84 parking receipt. More SeaTac businesses are following the same path.

It was also reported that employees who are earning the new wage are beginning to lose many benefits that the average worker may envy, including 401(k), free food, health insurance, free parking, overtime hours and paid holidays and vacations.

“One hotel waitress said she is earning less because tips have decreased since the high wage has been in effect.  In many cases these benefits plus the lower state minimum wage added more value to workers’ earnings than the new $15 wage,” wrote Erin Shannon, director of the Center for Small Business.

“SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage has been in effect less than six months and workers in the city are discovering the new high wage comes with a steep cost.  In Seattle, a minimum wage has not even gone into effect yet, but employers warn they will be forced to use similar tactics to reduce labor costs once a $15 wage is imposed.  Some say they will be forced to lay off workers.”

A mandated minimum wage leads to an array of unintended consequences: increased qualifications, automation, cuts in staff hours and levels, a paucity of jobs for the unskilled, uneducated, youth and immigrants and higher consumer prices.

The question that remains: why do governments, anti-poverty activists and socialists hate the poor so much?

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