Democrat Running For Congress Calls For A $10.10 Minimum Wage, But His Hotels Pay Less

Vote for Patel, he'll raise the minimum wage!

Vote for Patel, he’ll raise the minimum wage!

Huffington Post: As part of his bid for Congress, Iowan Ravi Patel has circulated a petition urging House Speaker John Boehner (R) to support boosting the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, as congressional Democrats have proposed. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, it is disgraceful that a full-time worker making minimum wage lives below the poverty line,” the petition reads.
Patel is one of three Democrats competing to run against Republican Rep. Rod Blum, who currently holds the seat for Iowa’s first district. Patel is also the president of his family’s hospitality business: Hawkeye Hotels, which has properties in 16 states, flying under the banners of Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Best Western and Holiday Inn, among other major chains.
Despite Patel’s strong words on a $10.10 minimum wage, several Hawkeye properties have been advertising jobs that pay well below that figure. That includes a housekeeping position in West Virginia starting at $8 per hour; a job as a front desk clerk in Texas at $8.25 and a breakfast cook job in Iowa advertised at $8.50 to $9. Those advertisements were placed on Craigslist for Hampton Inn, Best Western and Residence Inn properties, respectively. An ad for a laundry attendant position at an Iowa Residence Inn says the worker would earn $8.50 per hour, but the pay “could be more if you also did housekeeping.” All the hotels are Hawkeye properties, according to the company’s web site.
Norm Sterzenbach, a spokesman for Patel’s campaign, told The Huffington Post in an email that there is no discrepancy between Patel’s $10.10 position and his company’s willingness to pay below it. “An increase in the federal minimum wage would ensure every business across the economy plays by the same rules. Keeping the minimum wage artificially low penalizes businesses that pay higher labor costs as competitors undercut them,” he said. “Passing a livable, national minimum wage will increase wages across the board, even at higher wage jobs, because many of those jobs’ wages are pegged to the minimum wage.”
As for Hawkeye’s pay, the company’s wages are “competitive within the industry,” Sterzenbach said. “They are proud of their employees and the work that they do. And if the minimum wage is raised, hard-working people across the industry and the Country will see their wages go up. When Ravi is elected to Congress, he’ll fight to make that happen.”
To be clear: Paying below $10.10 per hour while calling for a $10.10 minimum wage is not inherently hypocritical. Plenty of low-paying business owners wouldn’t mind a minimum wage hike, or would even support one, so long as all comparable employers have to swallow the same increased costs. But in Patel’s case, he’s calling the current wage floor “disgraceful” and urging Republicans to lead on the minimum wage. One might ask Patel why he doesn’t lead on the issue himself, and make sure that all Hawkeye workers are paid the $10.10 he’s advocating for.
“[W]e need a national solution to this problem,” Sterzenbach said. “Congress needs to address this. That is why Ravi is running, to address the bigger problems facing our nation.”
do as i say
He could lead by example and raise the minimum wage at his hotels. But why bother? He’d rather have the opportunity to tell you how to run your business.

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5 years ago

Other people’s money… liberals’ favorite funding source.

5 years ago

Well now , you feel the minimum wage is low . Then why do you pay your employees the same ?….( F.Y.I. Patel , the min.wage was not meant to raise a family on !!!) If you feel so strident about this , why don’t you pay your employees 10.10 an hour ? ( Try leading by example ) , But of course , that would eat into your profit line . So , rather standing out as a ” lighthouse on a hill ” for your employees , ( and your so-called beliefs ) ….you back track to the… Read more »

5 years ago

Speaking of Democratic idiots, I watched this committee hearing on EPA last night until I felt my head almost explode. The camera scanned the congressmen and caught one who looked like he passed out. There were some Knee-jerk asskissers ‘witnesses’; two AG, one from WV and one from OK. But the star was Senator Whitehouse from RI. He attacked the AGs because they would pledge allegiance to the theory of man made climate change. They wanted to argue that the EPA is hijacking the energy process from the states, not discuss theories about the atmosphere. They actually demonstrated that their… Read more »

5 years ago

Another stupid actor wanting to get into politics and screw things up even more so than they already are. Patel is using this as bait to catch uninformed voters or as they are also called Democratic voters. It does not matter to him that this is a job killer, he just wants in on the political gravy train and he will promise anything to get there.