House vote favors wage increase

By Jeff Cutler

Nearly four-million Americans are one-step closer to a raise in salary as the U.S. House of Representatives this past week voted 382-37 in favor of raising the federally mandated minimum wage to $4.25 per hour.

President Bush had vetoed a three-year increase last June that would have established a minimum wage of $4.55 by October 1, 1991.

If approved by the Senate, and signed by Bush, the new law would increase the minimum wage to $3.80 per hour by April 1, 1990, and to a record $4.25 per hour by April 1, 1991. No federal minimum wage increse has occured in nearly a decade.

An unprecidented sub-minimum training wage will also be implemented as a part of the bill’s agenda. Employers will be allowed to pay 16-to-19-year-old workers a less than minimum, training wage for the first three-months of employment. The hourly wage would be $3.35 an hour in 1990, and $3.61 by April of 1991. The training wage can be extended an additional three-months if the workers are being trained through a government certified job training program.

In a statement issued from the White House, Bush said, “It (the minimum-wage proposal) gives relief to those with the greatest need in our work force while at the same time protecting job opportunities for young workers.”

The wage compromise also will end the long, on-going stalemate between the Republican administrations and Democratic-led Congresses since 1981.