Seattle’s minimum wage must not be that bad if McDonald’s is hiring

Jul 15, 2015, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm
Many people believed Seattle's minimum wage ordinance would spell disaster for franchise business owners, but that might not be the case for some. (AP)
(AP)

Critics believed Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance would spell disaster for franchise business owners.

But that’s not the feeling you get when you see a ‘for hire’ sign at McDonald’s.

The fast food restaurant at 3rd and Pine has one such sign posted in its window. It reads, “Starting at $11/hr,” the Civic Skunk Works blog reports.

The minimum wage ordinance allows businesses to phase in higher wages over a period of time to eventually reach $15 per hour. Currently, it’s around $11.

Under the ordinance, large employers must reach a $15 minimum wage within three years. Locally owned franchises fall under the large employer category, something franchise owners fought vehemently.

Though some businesses may be accepting the mandate, the new minimum wage is still getting under people’s skin. At least one customer is leaving cards behind to explain why they aren’t tipping higher wage earners.

But things seem to be on the up-and-up for Seattle some workers. Even employees failing to come to a compromise with management are receiving higher pay in the city. The Space Needle has implemented a $1.55 per hour wage increase for 176 employees that have been working without a contract, the Puget Sound Business Journalreports. They will receive a 50-cent raise each year through 2019. That decision follows failed negotiations between management and the labor union.

To top it off, the City of Tacoma is in the midst of its own wage debate. Though a group is pushing for minimum wages to equal that of Seattle, Mayor Marilyn Strickland has said it doesn’t make sense for her city. In fact, Strickland has proposed a $12 minimum wage for the fall ballot. The wage would be fully phased in by 2018.

Exactly how things will shake out for businesses forced to increase wages will not be seen for at least another year, advocates say. One thing is for certain though, anyone applying to McDonald’s in Seattle can look forward to a free uniform and making $1.53 more than the state’s minimum wage.

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Seattle’s minimum wage must not be that bad if McDonald’s is hiring