Editorial: Skates Should Pay Up

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Skates on the Bay, a landmark Berkeley Marina restaurant, is suing the city of Berkeley, alleging that the city's new living wage ordinance is against the law and infringes on their lease. In what amounts to a waste of money and a deplorable action against workers' rights, this lawsuit is attempting to undermine Berkeley's efforts to ensure a reasonable standard of living.

Skates should be responsible to the city and its community, if only to return the city's favor of years of support and a secure, unchallenged spot on the marina.

Berkeley's ordinance raises minimum wage to $9.75 per hour for all workers employed by the city or employers that lease city-owned land. The law has just recently gone into effect for businesses in the Berkeley Marina. Skates owners claim that the city's attempt to change contract without negotiation is illegal, even though the city promises to keep other businesses from competing with Skates's prime location.

The city of Berkeley's attempt to compensate workers for the skyrocketing cost of living here is admirable and justified.

The large restaurant chain that owns Skates should not be complaining about spending a few extra dollars on employees who rightly deserve a raise. Even by their own estimates, the raise would only cost an extra $175,000 per year for the benefit of 170 workers.

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