New Castle County exec Tom Gordon authorizes minimum wage hike

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Expressing his support for minimum wage hike initiatives, New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon recently signed an executive order that could raise the minimum hourly wage of County employees to $10.10.

Gordon made it official in a ceremonial signing at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in his Wilmington office, which could raise the minimum wage for all but four county positions.

“Income and wealth inequality in the United States are at levels unseen since the era which immediately preceded the great depression,” said Gordon in a statement.

Gordon suggested that while wages have stagnated, corporate profits, worker productivity, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 are at all-time highs.

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“These factors have contributed to one of the most lopsided economic recoveries in US history,” he explained.

New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi – a former Wall St. banker – observed that had the minimum wage of 1968 kept pace with inflation, it would equate to $10.10 today.

“Had the minimum wage mirrored the increase in US worker productivity, however, it would have reached $21.72 per hour in 2012,” Grimaldi added.

Gordon’s initiative will require County Council action to amend, but Council President Christopher Bullock, President Pro Tem Penrose Hollins, and Councilmen George Smiley and Jea Street expressed support for the measure.

“Perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing our Nation is the relatively new concept of the ‘working poor’ – those who have jobs but don’t make enough to support their families,” said Bullock in a statement. “I am in full support of this initiative.”

Until council approval is formalized, county positions will be raised to $9 per hour, the top of the current pay scale.  The changes would go into effect July 1.

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