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The Madera Tribune

Minimum-wage hike? No COLA

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webmaster | 02/05/14

I called Rep. Jeff Denham’s office yesterday about the president’s desire to increase the minimum wage. If an increase is presented for a vote, or if the magic pen does it on its own, I suggested there be no cost of living (COLA) for welfare. We need a strong disparity between working people and those just receiving.

This might encourage migration into the workforce. I personally believe a decrease in welfare should accompany any increase in the minimum wage. An increase in minimum wage should also bring with it an increase in worker skills. In agriculture, we pay more each year and receive the same or less in worker dedication or knowledge. Workers don’t know how to prune or even tie vines. If we are expected to pay more, then I think the Agriculture Commissioner’s Office should require training on basic pruning and safety. Issue a certificate to show that these people have a basic understanding of the task.

Tray weight should be a minimum of 20 pounds of grapes, not 17 or 15. We paid average of three trays for a buck two years ago. Last year it was two trays for a buck. I wouldn’t care what we paid if we could make it on the end.

So, Mr. Government. If you are going to raise the wage, raise the prices too! In 50 years I don’t want to hear “I can remember when gas was 3.49 a gallon” After all, its just inflation.

Bill Hoffrage,


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