As another round of coordinated minimum wage protests occur, the consequences of dramatic starter wage increases — including lost jobs, reduced hours, and business closures — are playing out in real time. EPI has been documenting these consequences through its project Faces of $15 and has released four new mini-documentaries featuring these victims. They include:
- The Almost Perfect Bookstore in Sacramento, California, which was forced to close because it could not absorb the increased costs of the state’s forthcoming $15 minimum wage.
- ARGYLEHaus of Apparel in San Fernando, California, which is leaving the state for Nevada as a consequence of a state minimum wage rising to $15 an hour.
- The Del Rio Diner in Brooklyn, New York, which was forced to close because the owner couldn’t pass along the costs of New York’s minimum wage increase to his blue collar customers.
- Sterling’s Family Childcare in Oakland, California, which had to cut staff and hours as well as scale back a free rides service because of the costs associated with Oakland’s minimum wage increase.
EPI will be releasing additional mini-documentaries of businesses affected by dramatic wage hikes in 2017. EPI previously released a documentary of a nonprofit Michigan restaurant that was forced to close because of a state wage hike.
These stories and others like them are cautionary tales of the damage caused by extreme increases in the minimum wage. They should give “Fight for $15” protesters pause.