Workers smile, employers growl

July 24, 2009 3:14:56 PM PDT
The Crossgroves have owned Tony's Pizza for nine years. It's a mom and pop operation with a handful of employees and the staff is happy about an increase in the federal minimum wage, but they know it's cost two or three fellow employees their jobs."It's hard to let people go and you want to stay open. But it affects all of us. You know? Here they've got a raise, and now we have to let them go," said Linda Crossgrove.

As of Friday, the federal minimum wage went up from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. The Crossgroves say whenever the minimum wage goes up, there's a ripple effect that hurts the very people the pay raise is suppose the help.

"The minimum wage didn't help the low person on the totem pole - the person who's getting minimum wage - it kills them because everything out in town went up by 10 percent," offered Jim Crossgrove.

"And you know that's going to impact their families. You know, it hurts us because we do think for them as family and it's hard. Who do you let go? How do you decide to let go? And it's very hard on us," said Linda.

The Crossgroves say with business slow in the current economy, they're letting people go instead of raising prices.

"The best thing for the company was to let a couple of people go and that way the money's coming in without raising prices and so that was our best option," said Jim.

Jim and Linda say they've weathered tough times in the past but nothing like the current downturn. They say they're going to keep at it and hope the economy turns around before they have to turn off the lights.


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