Practicing the preaching

The Troublemaker attended Friday’s rally where we heard State Rep. Alma Adams give a speech in support a ‘living wage” which she identified a being $12.00 per hour in NC.  The lack of a statute for a ‘living wage’ is one of the 6 examples listed by black leaders of rampant racism in Guilford County.  Standing behind her was Commissioner Skip Alston who owns the Barbeque Palace and Skip’s Dog House on East Market Street.   Ben did a little digging and found that those two establishments don’t exactly pay the demanded “living wage”.

After the rally, Ben called the Palace and said he was looking for work.  “I understand you pay $12.00 an hour“, he said to the manager on the phone. “That’s not true.”, was the response.  Here’s the video.

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  1. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Wow… that’s funny. I would like to hear Skip’s justification for that.

  2. Brenda Bowers
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    This is what I was talking about when I said that you must be careful not to back the wrong leaders. This story coming out about one of the main players will surely harm all of the efforts of others to make the needed changes. Pick you learders carefully and be sure the issues are defensable or you will just make noise and hurt the cause. Alston was not the only main player in this charade who is tainted. BB

  3. Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    The pay at Alston’s restaurants and his position on a livable wage do present a certain irony. I don’t think they make Alston a hypocrite though. In fact, dig deeper and this is an admirable position for Alston to take precisely because of the businesses he runs.

    Alston’s businesses have to compete with other businesses that also pay low wages. Were Alston to start paying his employees $12/hr, he’d have to raise his menu prices. He would lose business as diners would choose cheaper alternatives for equivalent fare — putting his businesses and the jobs they provide at risk. But Alston knows that if the minimum wage is increased to a living wage, he’d have to pay it and yet he’s he’s advocating for that. It just would make no sense (and put the jobs he provides in jeopardy) for him to pay a significantly higher wage now while his competition doesn’t have to. The playing field just needs to be level.

    Restaurateurs are common opponents to increases in the minimum wage. That restaurateur Alston is advocating for increased wages is admirable, even if present conditions do not allow him to pay more right now.

  4. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Good point, Roch.

  5. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Or… Maybe he’s advocating for it because he feels confident that a living wage law will never pass in Guilford County. North Carolina is considering an increase in the minimum wage, but I’ve read that it includes a provision to pay younger workers even less than the current minimum wage during the first three months they’re employed. So if a restaurant owner employs a high percentage of young employees, like college students, (and maybe even has a fairly consistent turnover of employees), then couldn’t this mean the numbers would balance in his/her favor?

    I believe in “lead by example” and “practice what you preach.” And that applies to leaders of every race, religion and party.

  6. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Like Chick-Fil-A! The whole not operating on Sunday thing was something that the owner practiced what he preached. Not sure on wages though. heh. But Michele also makes a good point. While Roch points out the “dog eat dog” world of restauranteering, it does stand that if you back something, you would also play by those rules. Having seen how management works, I’d be curious as to if this is a PR gig or if there indeed is paperwork filed with the management in order to push for future increases in wages.

    If he’s a backer, I’m sure there should be some sort of talks already beginning to get his management staff ready for any sort of “increase”. But whatever. I dislike talking about that guy. I group those three in the ulcer-giving category. I try not to think about it.

  7. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


    The provision you mentioned was pulled from the bill. It was inserted by Republicans and did not make it out of committee, based on what I read.

  8. Posted July 9, 2006 at 1:18 pm | Permalink


    real business owners dont manage (edited for vulgarity by Hoggard) housing w faulty steps….they dont cause tax payers to clean up their million dollar messes by having to bulldoze and remove structures..they dont continue to drain tax payers money w false hopes of a civil rights museum opening on time…..they dont scream racsim at the drop of a hat…and use intimidation to get low interest loans to build resturants…..u defending skip in any way is obviously an ignorant manuever. trust me…he dont need any help….

  9. Posted July 9, 2006 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Good point Roch. However, I would be curious as to how the wages he does pay stack up against the competition. I would hope, given his stance on the “living wage” that they are at least a little bit higher than wages paid at similar restaurants.

  10. Posted July 9, 2006 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    taco bell starts folks at $9 per hour

  11. Karl
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Competition drives a free market economy Roch. I Skip pays 14 per hour there will be a huge line of workers ready to sign on. He would have the best help in town and presumably the best service would mean more customers which in turn means more revenue which in turn means more profit.

    What does he always say about stepping out on faith as a leader … start stepping brother Skip.