Missouri Gov. Greitens slashes St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage down to $7.70
Eric Greitens. | AP

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R), at the eleventh hour, signed his first budget into law Friday, June 30, 2017, and announced that the $10 minimum wage increase St. Louis City low-wage workers began to receive two months ago, would roll back to $7.70 on August 28, 2017.

“They are literally taking money out of the pockets of workers,” said Betty Douglas, a 10-year McDonald’s worker and Leader with Show Me $15, the local Fight for $15 campaign. “All we [low-wage workers] want to do is live a comfortable life and pay all our bills—is that too much?”

As reported earlier by Peoples World, the $10 per hour minimum wage increase was upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court March 1, 2017, and would have increased again to $11 dollars in January 2018.

But, Republican state lawmakers—one week after the Supreme Court ruling—introduced and passed an emergency preemption bill (HB1194) to stop any local minimum wage increases. Missouri House Bill 1194 prohibits every Missouri political subdivision (city, county, township, and municipality) from increasing the minimum wage, and other employment benefits that exceed “state laws, rules, or regulations.”

When asked about the minimum wage increase, Gov. Grietens responded with the usual gloomy economic talking point: “It will kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of the people’s pockets.”

As shown from earlier reports, data from San Francisco and Santa Fe, two cities with the longest history of having a higher minimum wage, revealed no statistically significant negative effects on employment or hours (including low-wage industries).

Sierra Parker, a janitor and member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1, in a written statement, said:

“Governor Greitens’ announcement shows his decision was never about Missouri’s working families. It was always about lowering wages and making his rich donors happy. The $10 minimum wage has already changed my life for the better. Now, Governor Greitens intends to take money out of the pockets of more than 35,000 St. Louis working families. For me and so many others, that means going back to living paycheck to paycheck. He thinks he can sneak his decision by us over the holiday, but this doesn’t change anything. Working people will keep up the fight to hold him accountable.”


CONTRIBUTOR

Al Neal
Al Neal

Al Neal is People’s World Bureau Chief in St. Louis, a journalist and photographer covering politics, legal affairs, labor, sports and culture. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Sports Media Association and the NewsGuild, Neal’s work and reporting has been featured in the Labor-Tribune, Buzzfeed News, Russia Today (RT), Sputnik News Wire, and Getty Images.

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