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Letters: Debating $15 minimum

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally for a $15 minimum hourly wage on July 22, 2015 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Newsday's editorial board should try to live on the wage that they are bent on doing nothing to increase ["Wrong path to wage hike; $15 move excludes other low-paid jobs," Editorial, July 23].

These are people with spouses and children. If members of the editorial board were earning the same meager wage, their tune would change.

Frank Watson, Babylon

I take exception to the Newsday's editorial. Is the supposedly right path to rely on elected representatives?

The neglect of this issue for decades has grown to unavoidable proportions: wage stagnation and wage inequality.

Am I to have confidence that elected representatives -- heavily campaign-contributed and special-interest influenced -- are going to address this properly? Their past performances leave a lot to be desired.

It is not a question of whether the fast-food workers deserve more money than other workers of different classifications. If this leads to other workers banding together to get their voices heard, what is so wrong with that? If this causes other wages to rise, do we not all benefit?

This is democracy in action.

Tony Giametta, Oceanside

I'd like to thank Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for fighting so hard to ensure that private industry pays its workers a fair wage, while he continues to offer his state workers nothing! Some state employees have been without a contract for the last five years, receiving increases of only 4 percent over five years.

Thank you for making it so that a state employee can't even take his or her family to McDonald's anymore.

Michael Riveiro, East Meadow

Editor's note: The writer is a second vice president with the Court Officers Benevolent Association of Nassau County.

Minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage. It was entry-level pay for an unskilled worker usually just entering the workforce. It was never meant to support a family, especially a large family with many children.

Minimum-wage jobs were popular with young people starting to develop their work ethic, get some extra money for gas, clothes, dates, etc. It was a way for an employee to learn a business, learn to take orders and deal with people.

Does any one really believe the extra money is going to come from the profits of the business owners? It's going to be passed on to the consumer!

Orlando T. Maione, Stony Brook

"A win for workers" [News, July 23] couldn't be further from the truth. What do the workers think will happen when the restaurants have to pay these wages? They will pass the costs along to consumers.

When customer volume is reduced, so are sales, and layoffs inevitably follow. The market is much better at determining wages and keeping more people employed.

If these workers had a rare skill, the market would reward them with higher wages.

John Chiappino, Smithtown

When starting out, young people often have to work two or three jobs, or perhaps consider joining the military reserves or National Guard.

The key to success is education and other training that workers can obtain to increase their qualifications to provide a better standard of living for them and their families.

Rick Outcault Sr., Northport