Protest for minimum wage increase reaches steps of Hawaii State CaptiolUPDATED 10:34 PM HST Nov 19, 2013Video Transcript
It's been six years since Hawaii's minimum wage has been increased. But today several groups gathered to give lawmakers their two cents, so low-income workers could make much more. KITV4's Paul Drewes explains in tonight's top story. nat of rally They raised the noise level at the state Capitol, in the hopes lawmakers will raise the state's minimum wage. scott@10:43-10:58 "I think its going to be one of the key issues for the 2014 session, its really a quality of life issue. Try to give low income families who work not just one minimum wage job but 3-4." Veronica Teico is one of those workers who racks more than 40 a week between two jobs but ends up with very little leftover after her families bills are paid. 6:10 "Some families and myself are struggling, cause right now its really expensive" 12:50-13:02 "For someone working fulltime at minimum wage, their take home is 1100 a month, which is the same as the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Hawaii is also roughly 1100 a month" more nats Which is why these groups, representing unions, the elderly and low-income residents, want the minimum wage to be raised from 7.25 an hour to 9.50. 7:40 "that is a big deal, it is. It will be help" At Chinpei Ramen owner Yoshi Hashigami is getting ready for the dinner crowd. He says an increase of 2.25 an hour for his employees would take a big bite out of business, because he could not afford to pass the increased costs onto customers. 22:35 "Business would hurt to cover raise but price on menu not change" Like this one, many Hawaii restaurants and small businesses which would have to bear the higher costs have been struggling to remain profitable. Which may have been the reason a pair of bills aimed at increasing the minimum wage did not pass this legislative session. 11:42-12:00 our economy just went through a major recession and some of the businesses hit hardest were restaurants and service industry but now that ecomony recovering the timing is right to have an increase in the minimum wage. Even though we have a very high cost of living, Hawaii is one of 22 states where the minimum wage is the same as the federal level. In 19 others, workers earn more, with Washington State having the highest rate at 9.19 an hour.