Stillwater, Minnesota: The owners of Oasis Cafe tried to make an example of their own customers, and it's hard to tell if it's even working. Craig Beemer enacted a fee of $0.35 per customer to pay for the state's recent minimum wage increase. This Sunday report (Aug. 17) shares that the minimum wage law went into effect on the first of Aug., leading the owners to begin charging their customers extra. A cook at the restaurant tried to explain the move by saying the following:
"He is going to lose over $10,000 a year paying servers higher wages and that goes for every small business. Businesses trying to make it are really struggling."
Even though the decision to charge customers for the minimum wage increase has attracted negative attention from some folks, the owners of Oasis Cafe claim that business has improved somehow because of the fee. The owner of the cafe may want to think twice before thinking that means the public supports his decision, however. The public could just as well be glad that the employees of the establishment have gotten a bit of a raise and have no problem paying the fee. In fact, doing so would probably be a symbolic gesture of solidarity for the working class.
This news report shares more about the new minimum wage increase in Minnesota. It alleges that by 2016, the increase will "top out at $9.50 per hour." That's still barely a living wage depending on how large your family is or your medical, educational or other living needs. It should also be noted that in Minnesota, people who are most likely to be paid minimum wage are women and young people (according to the aforementioned source). So that means this raise in the minimum wage is an improvement for women and struggling youth who are starting out in life and mostly trying to pay for tuition and life in general.
So even though the owners of Oasis Cafe are protesting this new state policy, there is reason for minimum wage workers to rejoice in Minnesota -- and if you're a customer of any of these establishments that charge a fee to "protest" the new law, pay it with a smile --because that business owner still has to pay the legal minimum wage, regardless of the protests he/she stages.