, Muskogee, OK

June 3, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Hobby Lobby did right by workers

— When a big Oklahoma employer does something right I expect to hear cheers from Chambers of Commerce, Republican Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, Republican State House Speaker T.W. Shannon, Republican Governor Mary Fallin, Republican Mayor of Tulsa Dewey Bartlett, and Republican President of Oklahoma State University Burns Hargis. But none of these big dogs said a word.

None had the courage to commend Oklahoma City based Hobby Lobby, with 20 Okie stores employing 2,400, for giving its full-time employees across the country a $1 an hour raise. That gives Hobby Lobby’s full-time workers $14 an hour, almost double the dishonest $7.25 an hour federal and Oklahoma minimum wages.

States can raise their minimum wage over the federal and several states have. But, not in Oklahoma where the bosses are cheap skates. A minimum wage, inflation-adjusted from 1968, would be $10.50 today and this is not a “living wage.”

As for Republican leaders, they were portrayed best by J.C. Watts Sr. of Eufaula, democratic father of former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts Jr.: “A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. You want a little bit more money and they all just pile on top of you like dogs.”