Three Hudson County mayors are to appear at a rally in Journal Square on Tuesday to drum up support for a referendum on November’s ballot that would increase New Jersey’s minimum wage.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer will join other elected officials, union leaders and workers to convince commuters to vote “yes” on Ballot Question 2.
If approved, the state’s minimum wage would rise one dollar, to $8.25. Business leaders are opposed, while liberal groups say the move would benefit approximately 400,000 workers in the state.
Tuesday’s rally is set to begin at 5 p.m. outside the Journal Square PATH station on Kennedy Boulevard.
On Thursday, the Bayonne City Council approved the Mayor Smith-supported Resolution CR-3, which asks residents to vote yes on Question 2.
“Paying a living wage should be the cornerstone of our economic recovery plan,” Smith said. “Helping people make a decent living and provide for their families strengthens our communities and actually helps business by fostering increased economic activity.”
Community labor leader and Bayonne’s Third Ward Council Member Ray Greaves said that the raise would provide some relief to families struggling to make ends meet and encourage greater consumer spending.
But Francis Scklarski, owner of Amici’s Fine Dining at 184 Broadway, said if the resolution passes, his business and others in Bayonne will suffer from having less money for payroll, effectively shrinking their work force through layoffs and a reduced likelihood for new hires.
“By raising the minimum wage, you’re kind of strangling the smaller business owners that need that labor force,” he said. “When you cut the funding of small business, there’s less for payroll.”