According to an article in the New York Times, the owner of a Ballard based credit card payment processing company announced that he will raise the minimum wage for workers in his company to $70,000 per year.
Dan Price, who originally started Gravity Payments (located at 1455 NW Leary Way) in his dorm room at Seattle Pacific University made the announcement on Monday afternoon to 120 surprised staff members (pictured above).
According to the article, Price plans to phase in the wage increase over the next three years at the same time as Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance comes into effect.
Price plans to pay for the staff wage increases by cutting his salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and by using up to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million profit this year
The New York Times confirms that around 70 employees of Gravity Payments, where the average salary is $48,000 a year, will have their paychecks raised with some employees even doubling them.
“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd. As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it,” Price told The New York Times.
Through this wage increase Price wanted to address wage inequality, however, he admits that the idea made him “really nervous” as he wanted to find a way to make it work without raising prices for his customers or cutting back on service.
As well imagined, the staff are beyond thrilled with the news. “Everyone is talking about this $15 minimum wage in Seattle and it’s nice to work someplace where someone is actually doing something about it and not just talking about it,” Gravity Communications Coordinator Hayley Vogt told The New York Times.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times.