In a victory for the free market, Adam Lee of Lee Auto Malls announced Friday that he will no longer pay any employees less than $10.00 per hour.
It was not immediately clear how many of Lee’s employees would be impacted by the publicly advertised pay increase and Lee did not respond to inquiries.
Lee did not disclose the reason for making internal wage decisions public.
“We believe it is important for successful Maine businesses to pay enough so that the lowest-paid employees are still earning a living wage,” he said in the statement.
Lee has previously testified in favor of tax increases at the State House and has demonstrated a left-of-center ideological alignment.
The move may be an attempt to show his support for various proposals to increase the minimum wage.
Ironically, Lee’s decision to voluntarily increase wages stands in stark contrast to minimum wage hike proposals, which use the government’s coercive power to artificially set the price of labor for all businesses.
Here’s the press release:
Statement From Adam Lee on Living Wage at Lee Auto Malls
May 19, 2014
I am pleased to announce that Lee Auto Malls is raising the minimum pay for any full time employee to $10 per hour, effective immediately.
As a profitable local company, my partners and I felt was this was the responsible thing to do. We believe it is important for successful Maine businesses to pay enough so that the lowest-paid employees are still earning a living wage.
Our company was started in Lewiston, Maine in 1936. For 78 years, through the hard work of our employees, we have prospered and grown. We now employ over 450 people in 15 Maine cities and towns, and they contribute each day to our company’s success.
The automotive industry has always been at the forefront of providing Americans with good-paying jobs. While Henry Ford was not necessarily community minded, he did raise his employees pay from $2.50 per day to $5.00 per day. His logic was that his employees needed to be able to purchase the new cars they were producing. We believe our decision today will make our hardworking employees lives a little easier and make Lee Auto Malls an even better place to work, which will allow our company to continue to prosper.
what about the dime? It was $10.10 that his party was pushing.
Just like a good progressive should, I wonder why Pingree and Michaud were not there for the publicity stunt
Why not ALL employees including part timers? At what point is a Lee employee entitled to health insurance participation? Of course this is none of my business but then Adam Lee put out the press release.
Mechanics get paid or at least we are billed nearly $100/hr….Mechanics get how much of that?
Clerical staff are specialists in financing, etc. so they get paid a higher wage.
Sales staff get min. + commission…..and they have to compete to stay there. No sales no job.
Three diff. types of staffing each with its own salary ‘ladder’.
So why don’t you go shop at Lee’s and interview a few people on who makes what and why?…..mind you, I was an admirer of the way Shep Lee ran his business…he personally supervised every inch of the dealership and there wasn’t any detail he didn’t scrutinize. You had a concern, he ‘fixed’ it.
Be curious whether Adam continued his starting pay practices or modified them. Lots of car dealers and sales oriented businesses where your pay is determined by how much you can sell; and most of them keep the pay low because they want your incentive to come from working for commissions.
“We believe it is important for successful Maine businesses to pay enough so that the lowest-paid employees are still earning a living wage,” So $10/hour is now a “lving wage?” Good to know. I still wouldn’t buy a lug nut from Lee after what he did to Paula Benoit.
Sounds to me like this is nothing more than a liberal Democrat pulling a publicity stunt. I’m sure Lee’s allies in the liberal media will attempt to find a way to blame LePage for this ‘ necessity’ and Michaud will try to take credit for it. Just a bunch of liberal BS.
We have no way of knowing if this Grand Gesture cost him a cent. F.J. Heller points out some of the complexities. Once you deduct that part of the work force whose services are unobtainable at minimum wage, you have those who Adam is free to fire if they aren’t worth $10.00 an hour.
don’t regret it