Hospitality industry campaigns against minimum wage hike

Minnesota restaurant, resort and hotel owners have launched an 11th hour campaign to try to convince state lawmakers not to increase the minimum wage.

The three trade groups oppose the move to a $9.50 hourly rate and automatic inflationary increases. They also want to be able to pay a lower minimum wage to employees who receive tips.

Dan McElroy, the executive vice president of the Hospitality Minnesota coalition, said during a news conference today that the current House and Senate bills would make the industry less competitive.

"My members are good at what they do. They will adjust," McElroy said. "What's at risk are our team members and the number of hours and the number of jobs we can provide, our guests and the amount that they will pay and the level of service they will get, and our communities and the amount of impact good restaurants can provide in those communities."

Employees who receive tips are not addressed in either bill, and House and Senate negotiators have already agreed on a $9.50 rate.

Research does not support the conclusion that increasing the minimum wage will force employers to cut jobs.

Gov. Mark Dayton, has said that an increase would be good for workers and businesses.

State Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, a member of the minimum wage conference committee, said he thinks the hospitality industry's campaign is too late to make much of a difference.

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