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Letter: Biz owner supports wage hike

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addresses the

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addresses the Legislature. (Jan. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

I read with great interest about the governor's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour ["Cuomo stakes out middle of the road," Opinion, Jan. 29]. I own and operate a company with more than 1,500 employees. I make the final decision on how our employees are paid, and this is probably my greatest burden as a businessman. It's an assignment I take very seriously.

Over the years I have spent countless hours talking to others, reading about and analyzing what it costs to live on Long Island. We can spend a lot of time debating the value of a job for $550 per week versus $1,200 per week, but we should not need to spend too much time discussing the minimum that a worker should make when that number is $306 for a 35-hour week.

This is simply a moral decision. How do we want to treat our workforce in a time of economic downturn when workers are desperate to earn? In 2013, with all that we have accomplished as a nation and a state, where is the dignity in paying a worker less than $8.75 per hour? In many cases, this wage increase would barely cover the increase in the employee's commute to work over the last five years, given the increases in fuel and public transit costs.

I encourage the governor and the legislature to move forward with this proposal out of respect for our workforce and for the health of our local economy.

John J. Corrado, Bay Shore

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Suffolk Transportation Service, a private company running public, paratransit and school buses.