Minimum wage increase makes impact

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Tuesday will mark the day the federally-mandated minimum wage increase from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour will take affect.

The increase has drawn mixed support throughout the state and particularly in the Black Belt region.

While minimum wage employees will reap the benefit of the increase, some employers are hesitant about its effects.

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Tommy Cristwell, owner of Lily White Cleaners in Demopolis, too, said he did not agree with the increase.

Cristwell said the fuel economy has had a grave effect on the cleaning industry and the increase will only add to the hardship.

Cristwell said that although there is no sure way to tell the effect of the increase now, he feels it will have a large affect on the areas small businesses.

Alvin Williams, plant manager of New Era in Demopolis, said the increase would not have a strong effect on his business, but he thinks it will affect the small businesses in the area.

Williams also said the increase is beneficial for the workers in the area.

The wage increase set to take affect on Tuesday is part of a $2.10 per hour increase over a two-year period, with an increase to $6.55 on July 24, 2008 and to $7.25 on July 24, 2009. The State of Alabama does not currently have a set minimum wage. The state follows federal minimum wage guidelines.