Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, February 28, 2014
FACE Ad campaign pushes minimum wage hike
By Malia Zimmerman @ 12:24 PM :: 5912 Views :: Labor, Small Business, Cost of Living

HI’s religious leaders, legislators campaign for minimum wage hike

by Malia Zimmerman, Watchdog.org, February 28, 2014 

HONOLULU — Several of Hawaii’s religious leaders are supporting the effort by Democratic legislative leaders to increase the state’s minimum wage.

Faith Action for Community Equity, a faith-based grassroots organization that includes 38 churches, a Buddhist temple, two Jewish congregations, 10 community groups and nonprofit organizations and a labor union, launched an automated telephone advertisement campaign to homes and businesses across the state asking the public to sign a petition on its website to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage.

The House and Senate Democratic leaders, which holds all but one seat in the 25-member Senate and seven in the 51-member House, have agreed to increase the minimum wage to at least $10 per hour from $7.25 per hour, according to Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. The final number, however, still is being negotiated.

FACE, headed by former Hawaii State Teacher Association labor union president Karen Ginoza, said the increase is needed because Hawaii’s utilities are 110 percent higher than the national average, housing is 104 percent higher and groceries are 57 percent higher than other states, yet Hawaii’s minimum wage is lower than 21 other states.

However, not everyone supports the wage hike.

State Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, pointed out that only a small fraction of Hawaii workers earn minimum wage at any one time.

Many small business owners are opposed to increase because the cost of doing business in Hawaii already is the highest in the nation, said Slom, who also is the president of  Smart Business Hawaii, a small business advocacy group.

“Minimum wage is just that, a minimum, and an entry or training wage, not a ‘living’ wage,” Slom said. “Government should not dictate a wage without guaranteeing productivity and profit too. Jobs are lost, not created, or full-time employees are changed to part time when the wage is forced up.”

Any pay increases would boost the cost of workers compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, temporary disability insurance and other mandates, Slom said, as well as force up other wages within the company.

Hawaii already is ranked among the worst places in the country to do business, Slom said, because of state mandates on businesses, high taxes and regulations. Hawaii is the only state that forces employers to offer health care to employees working 20 hours or more a week.

“We need jobs, employment incentives and a better Hawaii business climate instead of more government mandates,” Slom said.

Win Schoneman, who has owed popular ice cream store in Hawaii Kai for 16 years, hired nine high school and college students at 50-cents above the $7.25 per hour minimum wage, increasing their pay as their responsibilities and skill levels improved.

“Statistically, nationwide and in our state, relatively few people are dependent on minimum wage … however, the minimum wage has raised our cost of doing business and living here significantly,” Schoneman said.

While proponents of an increase maintain Hawaii needs a “living wage,” Schoneman said the minimum wage is not a way out of poverty.

“Better education, skills and trades lift people out of poverty, not transferring wealth to another person,” Schoneman said.

If the minimum wage increases, Schoneman said small businesses like his will have to choose between raising prices, cutting employee hours, laying off employees or shuttering the business.

The House and Senate have a scheduled crossover, where bills are exchanged from one chamber to the other, next Tuesday. Legislators say it is likely the minimum wage bill will pass the Senate next week and cross over to the House for its consideration.

House proposals to raise the minimum wage by 75 cents for the next three years and then tie the increase to the Consumer Price Index, automatically increasing the wage each year, have stalled in recent days.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui


Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii