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The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) today urged legislators to vote against increasing the minimum wage to $17.98 per hour for contracted workers at Newark Airport, Hoboken Terminal and Penn Station Newark.
A-4870 is scheduled for a vote in the Assembly.
NJBIA pointed out that in addition to raising the minimum wage rate, the bill would require businesses to pay for substantial and expensive fringe benefits, including vacation time, paid sick leave, and supplemental wages for health and welfare, that would raise the effective minimum wage to $22.25 an hour.
The increased minimum wage represents a 110% increase and a nearly 300% increase if you include fringe benefits.
“Businesses, no matter how large, cannot withstand a more than 100 percent increase in the minimum wage,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “This bill would force businesses to increase their prices or lay off workers to pay for it, which in turn, will make it harder for them to compete, even against businesses in the same city.”
Mike Wallace, NJBIA director of Employment and Labor Policy and Federal Affairs, told members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week that the legislation would create a two-tiered compensation system for businesses located in the transportation centers and those who are not.
“A business at one of the three transportation centers included in the bill would pay $22.25 an hour while those located outside of those centers could pay a minimum wage of $8.44,” said Wallace.
The bill would also circumvent the collective bargaining process by imposing wage and benefit increases for service workers at the three transportation centers. Wages and benefits that are typically awarded through contract negotiations.
Siekerka added, “Legislation that increases costs on New Jersey businesses makes us less competitive with our neighboring states of Pennsylvania and New York, which are our No. 1 and No. 2 outmigration states.”