Thursday, January 11, 2018

Spinning Pizza Chains and the Minimum Wage

“Capitalism breathes through those loopholes.”  

From a Jan. 9 report by Geoff Herbert of
Last year, there were more than 40 Mark’s Pizzeria locations in Upstate New York. Today, there are exactly 29—a number aimed at avoiding the higher minimum wage.
The Auburn Citizen reports the Mark’s Pizzeria in Skaneateles quietly changed its name to Mike’s Pizzeria last month. Technically, it’s a new business, but Mike Harvard and Jamie Schneider are still slinging pizzas in the same location they’ve co-owned since 2003.
Harvard told the publication that they reached a mutual agreement with Mark’s Pizzeria Inc. to re-open as a separate business because of the state’s rising minimum wage requirements. Fast food establishments, defined by the Department of Labor as a chain with 30 or more locations, must pay workers at least $15 an hour by the end of the year in New York City and by 2021 in the rest of the state.
Fast food wages in New York went up $1 to $11.75 on Dec. 31, but Mark’s is avoiding that hike because it now has just 29 locations—one less than the number that would define them as a fast food chain. . . .
Another Mark’s Pizzeria in Central New York closed last month and quickly re-opened with a new name. Mike Haynes, a 21-year veteran at Mark’s, opened up his own pizza shop—Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza—in a former Mark’s site in Camillus on Milton Avenue.

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