Minimum Wage Worries

By: Katherine Cook
By: Katherine Cook

If you make minimum wage, get ready for a raise. Amendment 42, which increases the minimum wage in Colorado, will take effect January 1. But not everyone is excited about the change.
"It's gonna be less people making more money," said Conway's Red Top Operations Manager, Ralph Brown.
Brown says 12 employees lost their jobs last month when the chain's Palmer Park location closed. He says the reason was low business and what the wage increase will cost the chain's remaining 4 restaurants.
"It will be almost $100.00 a day for pay role at every store."
That's money Brown says will have to come from customers to the tune of 70 cents more each visit. But some people like Betsy Straka who voted "yes" on Amendment 42, say they don't mind.
"The minimum wage we have now is too low and people deserve to make more money," said Straka.
Kyla Matthews, a long time server at Conway's Red Top on North Circle, sees it differently.
"I make $4.00 an hour and it took me 7 years to build that up," said Matthews. "Now, the new people who come in here who I will train are going to make just 17 cents less than I do and I really don't think that's fair."
Hourly minimum wage for servers will jump from $2.13 to $3.83. For everyone else, it will increase from $5.15 to $6.85. But according to the Bureau of Labor, statistics show only 1.5 percent of Colorado's employed actually make minimum wage. Brown says the real impact will be on employers.
"We're barely making it now... my biggest fear is that customers will be like, 'I can't afford to come here any more.'"


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