St. Louis Pizzeria Boosts Pay Amid Wage Debate

5 years 10 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, March 20 2014 Mar 20, 2014 Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:05:00 AM CDT March 20, 2014 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis restaurant owner isn't waiting for Congress or the Missouri Legislature to raise the minimum wage to boost his own workers' pay.

Pi Pizzeria owner Chris Sommers says he will pay all of his employees $10.10 an hour starting on April 1. That's an increase of more than one-third above the state's minimum wage of $7.50 an hour.

Sommers tells KWMU-FM that his workers were already making more than the legal minimum but he wants to make sure "they're not just scraping by." He owns five Pi locations in the St. Louis area and a sixth in Washington, D.C., as well as the local Mexican restaurant Gringo.

His efforts caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who singled out Pi in a Wednesday interview with KSDK-TV.

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