recent efforts to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers, without legislative approval is, unsurprisingly, being met with hostility by the National Restaurant Association. Dawn Sweeney, the president and chief executive of the group, responded to Cuomo's Times op-ed today with her own letter to the paper, saying Cuomo's approach is "An assault on an industry that has delivered nearly 800,000 jobs to the state of New York....[that] will lead to the elimination of many of these jobs," and will "kill opportunity" for many. Sweeney invokes women, minorities, and unskilled workers, arguing that "whenever the minimum wage is increased, that career ladder is pushed further and further out of reach for our least-skilled and inexperienced workers." As an alternative to raising minimum wages, she thinks that education and "fostering a favorable business climate" are better ways to solve the problem of income inequality.Cuomo's
The National Restaurant Association and Cuomo are already at odds over the governor's efforts to raise the tipped minimum wage, so this recent move added another log to the fire. The Wage Board will make its recommendation to the governor in three months, at which point he will be able to pass a law altering the minimum wage without legislative approval.