LETTERS: Higher minimum wage, fewer jobs


To the editor:

When I started my business in Las Vegas in 1993, I hired temporary workers for a week or two during the duration of an event. When it ended, the workers were laid off until the next event. So I hired 100 or so people several times a year.

Because the job required pretty much the same skill level, I decided to pay everybody the same wage. Initially, I paid everyone a couple of dollars more than minimum wage. Some performed their jobs very well, some average, and some showed up late in shabby clothing and did poor work overall. After a while, the good employees complained about making the same wage as those who did poor work. I was forced to pay the good employees more to keep them, so I reduced the pay of the lower-performing employees to compensate. This worked out well, and as time went on and the need arrived to pay good employees more, I was forced to reduce some employees to minimum wage.

Then liberals decided that minimum wage was not enough for a person to provide for his family. So the minimum wage was raised. I could not reduce the pay of the good employees and keep them, so I went to my clients and asked for a raise to pay the lower-performing employees the higher minimum wage. This raising of the minimum wage occurred several times over the years, and I must have asked 100 clients to pay me more, but without even one exception, they refused to pay more. I just supplied a smaller workforce and kept the clients’ expenses the same.

The end result: I was not able to retain a lot of the minimum wage employees, so they became unemployed. That is the bad news. The good news: Over the years, many of the lower-performing employees became good employees when they decided to clean up their act, and they ended up making more money.

BOB GATEWOOD

HENDERSON

Culinary insurance

To the editor:

As one of the thousands who had to “chill out” during Tuesday’s Culinary Local 226 health insurance re-enrollment, I have some thoughts on trying to re-enroll more than 50,000 members in less than three weeks (“Thousands chill out to keep health insurance,” Wednesday Review-Journal).

This event was so poorly and unprofessionally planned, it was almost beyond words. Elderly, children and babies made to stand outside in the 40-degree temperatures for several hours. No water was provided, no food was available (even for sale), and every heat lamp was either broken or out of fuel.

Why those with no dependents had to be there at all is beyond me. The casinos already report our hours worked to the union on a monthly basis. If I can demonstrate to the casino that I am who I say I am, obviously I am eligible for the insurance.

As for Geoconda Arguello-Kline’s statement that, “It was the only place we could think of to accommodate all our members,” I was floored. This city’s bread and butter is hosting large groups in indoor facilities. Heck, the re-enrollment event could have even supported union jobs!

The union dropped the ball on this one and, in my opinion, showed just how much it truly cares about the line workers.

And if this event exemplifies Ms. Arguello-Kline’s thought process and planning abilities, I suggest it is time for her to move on to another position.

PETER D. KINSLEY

LAS VEGAS

 

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