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Politics Costco to raise hourly pay to $16 as minimum wage fight brews in Congress

08:20  26 february  2021
08:20  26 february  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

$15 minimum wage debate: Everything you need to know

  $15 minimum wage debate: Everything you need to know House Democrats have included a minimum wage hike in their latest Covid relief bill, although opposition among some Senate Democrats means it is not at all clear they will have the votes to pass it. © Scott Olson/Getty Images Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald's corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Improving worker pay is unrelated in that raising the minimum wage has long been a Democratic priority.

Costco is raising its starting hourly wage to $ 16 , CEO Craig Jelinek said on Thursday. "Since Costco 's inception, the company has been committed to paying employees very competitive retail wages and providing them broad and affordable health care benefits," Jelinek said during a Senate Jelinek said that more than half of Costco 's U.S.-based employees earn an hourly wage of more than . Costco is the latest among a slew of major retailers who have announced wage hikes in recent years because of state regulation and political pressure, but also to gain an edge over competitors.

This move comes as Congress debates the an hour federal minimum wage increase as part of President Joe Biden's .9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill. Beginning in March of last year, the chain instituted a an hour premium to its employees to help cushion the financial strain that the "As we approach the one-year mark of this extra pay , we will limit the temporary premium, but convert some of the premium to a permanent increase by raising each step on hourly wage scales," said Jelinek. Costco employees in the U.S. have been with the company for over nine years on average, with more

Costco is raising its starting hourly wage to $16, CEO Craig Jelinek said on Thursday.

a man holding a sign © Provided by NBC News

"Since Costco's inception, the company has been committed to paying employees very competitive retail wages and providing them broad and affordable health care benefits," Jelinek said during a Senate Budget Committee hearing. "Two years ago we moved our starting hourly wage to $15 everywhere in the U.S. Effective next week, the starting wage will go to $16."

Jelinek said that more than half of Costco's U.S.-based employees earn an hourly wage of more than $25.

Costco is the latest among a slew of major retailers who have announced wage hikes in recent years because of state regulation and political pressure, but also to gain an edge over competitors. Before the pandemic throttled the economy, unemployment rates were low — leading retailers to compete for scarce talent in a tight labor market. Over the last few years, Amazon, Walmart and Target have gradually raised their starting wages to $15 per hour while also offering workers perks like tuition reimbursement programs.

The problem with a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage hike

  The problem with a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage hike Minimum wages are not a free good. They have tradeoffs. While politicians might not pay much mind to such economic arguments, they are well aware of the regional differences among their constituents. If they listen, they should reject a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage hike and, instead, let cities and states make decisions that best suit the people in their communities.Ryan Young is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the study "Minimum Wages Have Tradeoffs.

(Reuters) - Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) said on Thursday it would raise the minimum wage for its hourly staff to $ 16 per hour starting next week, a dollar more than what its competitors Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) pay their staff.

Costco is boosting its minimum hourly wage to $ 16 starting next week, the warehouse retailer's chief executive said during congressional testimony. During the pandemic Costco had added an extra an hour in so called hazard pay to frontline workers’ checks, but that will end this year as the company adds a permanent pay increase, Jelinik said. The members-only discount retailer based in Issaquah, Wash. claims that its pay and benefits have resulted in lower turnover as more than 60 percent of its employees have been with the company for at least five years and more than a third have been there

The increase comes amid growing support in Congress for a federal minimum wage should hike. A $15 wage is included in the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill currently on the table, and it calls for a multi-year phase-in of the increase by 2025. President Joe Biden backs doubling the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.

The issue has gained popularity in recent months as grocery store workers, restaurant staff and other frontline employees continue to bear an outsized share of the pandemic's hardships. Democrats have used this dynamic as leverage to increase their hourly compensation, but bipartisan support for the measure has proven to be an uphill battle. Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced a proposal on Tuesday that would raise hourly wages to just $10 by 2025.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., denounced the proposal in a tweet: "When members of Congress fight to set the minimum wage below a living wage, they are playing a role in creating and preserving poverty in the United States. The $15/hr proposal with multi-year phase-in is already a deep compromise. $10 an hour is legislated poverty."

Committee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., has championed increasing minimum wage for years.

"Why should working people be subsidizing some of the wealthiest families and largest corporations in America because of the starvation wages they pay their workers?" he said Thursday.

Joe Manchin's $11 Minimum Wage More Popular Than Biden's $15—Among Democrats and Republicans .
While a majority (60 percent) of voters approve of the increase to $15 per hour, 71 percent support a more modest hike to $11.President Joe Biden and Democrats campaigned on raising the federal minimum wage to $15, and House Democrats included the wage hike in their version of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. However, the wage hike looks unlikely to survive in the Senate's version of the bill, as that chamber's parliamentarian ruled it could not be passed through the budget reconciliation process. Meanwhile, GOP Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas have put forward a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour—close to what Manchin has suggested.

usr: 1
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