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article imageIkea set to raise U.S. minimum pay to 'living wage' levels

By Martin Laine     Jun 26, 2014 in Business
Ikea, the Swedish home furnishings giant, will announce today that the minimum starting wage for its U.S. workers will rise an average of 17 percent to $10.76 per hour.
“We are, of course, investing in our co-workers,” said Rob Olson, acting president of IKEA USA, in an article in the Washington Post. “We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in Ikea’s stores. We believe it will be a win-win-win for our co-workers, our customers, and our stores.”
Earlier this year, clothing retailer The Gap announced it would be raising the minimum wage for its workers to $9 per hour this year, with an increase to $10 per hour next year.
The issue of raising the minimum wage has become increasingly contentious over the past year or so, with workers at some of the country’s most profitable retailers and fast food outlets taking to the streets to demand higher pay.
They contend the current minimum of $7.25 an hour is simply not enough to make ends meet.
They are opposed by some of these businesses, business groups, and conservative politicians who counter that raising the minimum wage would result in job losses, a rise in prices, and a major blow to the economy.
Ikea currently has 38 stores in the United States, and the minimum wage in each store may vary somewhat based on the cost of living in the region where it’s located. The company will use the “Living Wage Calculator,” a Massachusetts Institute of Technology website that determines how much a worker must make in order to be able to pay for basic goods and services in any given area.
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