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St. Paul Will Raise Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis was first, but now St. Paul is getting on board as well. The capital city will be raising its minimum wage.

Mayor Melvin Carter officially approved the measure late Wednesday afternoon, which means most workers will make at least $15 an hour.

Much like in Minneapolis, the wage hike will be phased in for businesses depending on their size. Under the approved wage hike, Employees of macro-sized businesses will get $15 an hour first in 2022. The last phase in will be micro-businesses, with five or fewer employees, in 2027.

"Now Minnesota workers have been organizing, putting their jobs on the line for this, for four or five years now," 15 Now Minnesota's co-director Celeste Robinson said.

While most workers like the idea of a raise, there are still some questions about what it will do to those employees who depend on tips. The ordinance follows Minneapolis' lead by not excluding restaurant employees. Just like in Minneapolis, some restaurant workers have pushed back.

"I think it's a terrible idea," Eagle Street Grille bartender Jeffrey Crandall said.

Crandall has been a bartender for over two decades, and supports $15 an hour, but wants the tip credit. He said his peers fear cuts in hours, jobs and tips.

"When you force this on industry, on thin margins, they're going to have to make them up somewhere," he said.

Back in early October, St. Paul city leaders proposed the $15 minimum wage ordinance.

"We should be on schedule to pass the $15 minimum wage ordinance by the end of this year," said City Councilmember Chris Tolbert at the time.

Seattle was the first city to adopt the $15 minimum wage. Minneapolis approved it last year last year.

Even though restaurant employees are not excluded there are some exemptions, including youth workers in city programs and also the St. Paul Saints baseball team.

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