NJ Printer Tackles Minimum Wage Issue on MSNBC

MOORESTOWN, NJ—Joe Olivo wonders if Congress really understands the plight of today’s small business owner. The head honcho of Perfect Printing, based here, took to the airwaves last Sunday to give his viewpoint on state and federal proposals that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.

Olivo appeared on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, a news and opinion program, where he debated Congressman Jesse Jackson, sponsor of the legislation, according to the Burlington County Times. A member of the National Federation of Independent Business, which advocates for small and independent enterprises, Olivo pointed out that state and federal government already imposes burdensome costs, a disadvantage when competing for international business against firms from Mexico and Canada.

“I’m bidding against foreign companies that don’t have nearly the same regulatory expenses that I have to absorb,” Olivo told the newspaper. “A higher minimum wage will guarantee that my competitors get more work and it makes it more difficult for me to sustain my current payroll expenses.”

Olivo stressed it was important to tell the small businessman’s side of the story. A higher minimum wage would cause companies like his to seek a more efficient use of technology or equipment, as well as replace workers whose cause Jackson is seeking to help.

“That’s my concern; it will actually do harm to my employees,” Olivo told Harris-Perry.

  • Steven

    I’ve never paid as low as minimum wage anyway so means nothing to me. What job in a printing facility is NOT worth $10/hr anyway?

  • Steve (small business owner)

    If Joe Olivo cannot afford to pay his employees a living wage, then he cannot afford to have employees. We are a union shop and our employees are paid well. We have no problem competing for business against other firms.

  • bindery

    we start everyone at $9/M and jump them right up to $10, $11 and $12 / hr after they show they can do the job. If they can’t or won’t do the job, they are soon dismissed. The $9/hr start and quick pay hikes are needed incentive. If I was forced to start them at $10/hr from the get go, I would lose the incentive for entry workers to actually do the job they are hired for. Motivation is needed to get the general population to work. The problem with the American mindset is people are trying to find a job but very few want to actually DO the job.

  • Mark

    Well Joe….you don’t want to come to Australia where very few people get under $20 an hour…even to carry coffee!!!!…let alone work in the print industry.
    Yes we have all the equipment we can get to avoid having extra people on our payroll to make us as productive as we can be……but we all get a living wage….and we all get by…even the business owners!!
    mark Toowoomba, Queensland Australia.

  • vitalsyne

    I don’t think we should just look at the printing industry or Joe’s problem! I do believe in a fair wage, the problem lies within other industries that might night be able to offer the $10./hr pay competitively. Especially in NJ where there are large pockets of NJ that have a very high cost to do business as well as a high cost of living. Some companies will be able to afford it while it could potentially shut down the other mom& pop service businesses in many areas.
    In actuality, most of the folks in the highest tax state in the country -NJ, need more like $20.00/hr minimum wage just to keep a roof over there heads!!! Let’s not go there!

  • bindery

    i agree with the poster from Oregon who commented on the repeat of this article. Minimum wage is not supposed to be a "living wage"; it’s supposed to be a "learning wage". If an entry level employee learns and performs the job successfully, they should get immediate and frequent increases. I’ve given two and three raises to some workers within a year after starting them at $9/hr and sometimes more. I can’t afford to "teach" someone the position at $10/hr and hope they can eventually do the job.