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John V R King

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 1987
A change in the minimum wage, as proposed by Mary Brent Wehrli in her letter (Feb. 21), is not the simple proposition it seems. Entire wage structures in businesses are built upon entry-level wages, usually minimum wage. Seniority wages, shift differentials, lead-person wages, supervisory wages, and wages on up through the responsibility ladder in businesses are built on a structure that is influenced by the entry-level wage. When the minimum wage is increased, it begins a new wage-setting cycle that inevitably results in a shift upward of all labor costs.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 1987
John V.R. King's letter (March 5) on keeping the minimum wage as it is has to be a most ridiculous argument, if not laughable. Most of the minimum-wage earners are employed by fast-food places, chain stores, as porters, and other low-skilled jobs. There is no next step up. Besides, industries where some skill is required pay much more than the minimum; they would not be affected by the increase. And if a company has that low a scale, then there should be a general increase up the line.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1991
The Times quotes Polish President Lech Walesa as follows: "I'm on the borderline between sticking with democracy and pluralism, or having a little less democracy" (Part A, June 29). That Walesa could treat the compromise of democratic rights as a minor expedient should remind us that in these heady days of exuberance over the worldwide collapse of dictatorial regimes, and the rise of "democracy," it is important to keep our perspective. It is natural for us to assume that democracy, as we define it, is the natural order of things, and that other countries will rush to accept it; however, this may not always be the case.
BUSINESS
August 7, 1988
Regarding the July 19 labor column, "12-Hour Workday Turns Clock Back on Labor Movement": Due to the long start-up requirements for their heavy machinery (often many hours or even days), many companies must schedule seven-day, 24-hour operations. Shift schedules for these operations can be complicated, but two of the most widely used are the "rotating shift" schedule and the "3 1/2-day week." On rotating shifts, workers change schedules frequently from day shifts to swing shifts to graveyard shifts.
NEWS
July 19, 1994 | STEVEN GUTTERMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What's clear, comes in a bottle and is one of the few Russian products that can compete on the world market? No, it's not vodka, it's voda --plain old water. So say the producers of Saint Springs, an upscale bottled spring water whose source is an unorthodox joint venture between a retired California plastics man and the Russian archbishop of Kostroma and Galich. Call it a holy alliance, call it a blessed business partnership. John V. R.
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