Reggie Frederick: Measure 1B gives me time to adjust to new wage

IMG_7508Reggie Frederick owns Chalet Bowl, a bowling center that has been operating in the Proctor District for 74 years, making it the oldest bowling center in the state. If the extreme Measure 1 is approved on this fall’s ballot, the minimum wage will go up by 58 percent overnight, having a severe impact on his business, his nine employees and his customers. He would have to raise prices by as much as 30 percent and potentially make cuts to his staff or benefits. With such higher prices, he’s not sure he’d be able to compete with bowling centers outside Tacoma that wouldn’t have to deal with the increased labor costs. His base of league customers may decide to bowl elsewhere or stop bowling altogether. “Measure 1 would just make life extremely difficult,” he said.

Measure 1B, however, makes sense to Frederick. It would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and most important, phase in the increase over two years, giving Frederick time to prepare and adjust. It gives him time to decide how to deal with the higher wages and he can raise prices gradually over two years. “It’s not a shock to the consumer,” he said. “Measure 1B gives me time to figure everything out.”

Frederick also served on the Tacoma mayor’s minimum wage task force. The group of labor, business, economic and other community leaders agreed that an overnight jump to $15 didn’t make sense for the city or its economy.

“$12 for Tacoma is the responsible way to raise the city’s minimum wage,” Frederick said.