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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Minimum Wage Bump Impact

Minimum Wage Bump Impact

Dec 31, 2013|

James Calvin

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Tonight at midnight New York State's minimum wage goes up to eight dollars as part of several increases to come 875 next year nine dollars by 2015. Workplace experts say it could help the economy but what does it mean for employers. Let's bring in James Calvin from New York State association of convenience stores he's their president and he's with us now on the WB MI -- -- morning James. Good morning John Dave how are you. We're good what is your take on this good or bad convenience stores obviously have a lot of employees. Yes we do in it's your listeners may be surprised to know that not that many of them are at the minimum wage level. But when the minimum wage goes up. Those employees whose. Wage rate is a dollar above the minimum which we don't above the minimum three dollars and both of them they're gonna expect to raise two. And so the result of this new wage increase is -- drives up our entire. Payroll cost for a -- store. Well he is also suggesting then that will drive up the cost of milk bread and other things we reliant on hit into a convenience store mr. -- Different retailers will employed different strategies in order to. And addresses. The increase in payroll costs in some cases is yes we will have to increase prices in other cases they will reduce the number of hours and employees are working. Or cut back on employee benefits. Or try to find ways to reduce costs in other areas. I you know they might try to cut back on the -- following bill that's not gonna work today if you look out the window. So that there isn't any wanted. Solution. To the higher cost. Different retailers and food you know really use different strategies to address that. During the debate over this in the state legislature. The New York City retail council actually came out in favor of its saying that. More people making more money means they have more money disband its stores why does that follow through your group and convenience stores. Both retail council represents. General merchandise retailers. And if if our members were Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue I don't think we care about what the minimum wage was either but the reality is that. All industries. Typically is that the lower end of the the pay scale. And we have very tight profit margins we have in Western New York not a tremendous amount of growth. Demand for gasoline is flat. All -- cigarette business has been driven into the reservations into the black market. On your state tax policy. So we don't have a way to pay for. A 10% increase in payroll. That we do with this -- of finger. So that's why. We oppose this increase in the minimum wage -- if we can afford to pay our employees 10% more across the board. We would do it. But the reality of the Western New York economy is it won't sustain a 10% increase or employees of convenience store. Mr. Gelman we can't imagine the convenience store industry in shutting down because of this because they sort of have a a captive audience to open open 24 hours people need things of the last minute. Is it possible that people won't complain. If something cost of fuel -- more. It's possible because our primary. Product used. Convenience. Meeting. If you need. Quart of milk -- a loaf of bread or. Or coffee on the way to work. That's the -- should stop. But there's always so much. Well room for most of food to increase prices. You know experience has shown that if -- if mine location goes up a penny YouTube. A gallon on gas. And the other guy down the street doesn't well. You can stop coming to mind store for gas. So. The that's really not and options so you need to find something in the store. That hands. That can be increased in price some sufficiently without consumers. And you know going across street or to reservation work or to wherever the find their product more cheaply it's not an easy. Oh. It's it's a very difficult. Balancing act two but -- -- cost. And beaten. You select which approximately. -- crisis that's the answer but -- I think in a lot of cases. It's going to be cost cutting and that means. Fewer hours potentially fewer jobs. And and less benefits for the employees we have regrettably. -- -- thanks for joining us this morning. Do. By best James Calvin the president of the New York State association of convenience stores.

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