TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: efa99cb0-403d-4e23-8008-92b87970548b
Punch Pizza, used as an example during the State of the Union, didn't raise their starting wage because President Obama wanted them to, but because the market forced them to - the old wage wasn't attracting enough applicants. (AP Photo/File)

Make that a $10 minimum wage to go

It probably shocked some people, but there was the Speaker of the House clapping during Tuesday's State of the Union Address when the president gave a shout-out to a business that's raised its minimum wage.

"Nick Chute is here today, with his boss, John Soranno. John is the owner of Punch Pizza. John just gave his employees a raise to 10 bucks an hour, and that's a decision that has eased their financial stress and boosted their morale," President Obama said during the State of the Union.

But it turns out there was more than morale involved.

Punch Pizza is a chain of eight shops in Minnesota that serves wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. Its co-owners told Correspondent Nancy Cordes they were having trouble expanding.

"We were finding as we grew, that we didn't have enough new people that wanted to come join us," said Soranno. But after Punch announced the $10 an hour starting wage, the applications grew.

The cost - $3 million over ten years - works out to about $100 more per day at each store.

It's fair to point out they did this not because President Obama wanted them to, but because the market forced them to - the old wage wasn't attracting enough applicants. Which tells me that another way to get the minimum wage up without getting the government involved would be for millions of workers to organize themselves and just agree not to work for less than $10 an hour.

Which might explain why a minimum wage has a chance of passing. For some members of Congress, the only thing worse than a higher minimum wage would be a return of unions.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Climate Change Winner
    A forecaster says the Pacific Northwest will be on the winning side of climate change

  • Is Gas Works Safe?
    Police have been called out to the park nearly every night this week
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.