Press Releases

Just the Facts: Chris Dudley and his Plan to Cut Oregon’s Minimum Wage

Sep 28, 2010


Contact: Amy Wojcicki, Communications Director amy [at] dpo [dot] org (503) 239-8636

PORTLAND, Oregon (September 28, 2010) – 


Last Night Dudley and his campaign suggested that he doesn't want to lower Oregon's minimum wage. Unfortunately Chris Dudley cannot hide from his own words.


The facts are clear, and he cannot ignore the evidence.


At an event earlier this month, video clearly showsChris Dudley answering the questioner who asked Dudley if he agreed, “that our state tends to have a very high minimum wage” and that “it [minimum wage] attracts the wrong end of the labor pool”



Dudley responded with, “I agree with you on — that issue”



The single example Dudley used to bolster his agreement was restaurant owners complaining, “waitresses are getting tips plus the highest minimum wage in the country.” Following that Dudley stated “that’s one area I would like to tackle first is to at least get a training wage going…”


Chris Dudley & the Tip Credit:

Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian wrote in July, “At any rate, it's clear that Dudley – who didn't rule out taking up the tip credit issue if he is elected governor – is a favorite of the Oregon Restaurant Association.  Thegroup's political action committee reported that it gave $40,000 to Dudley's campaign on the very same day.” The top issue on the ORLA website is their promotion of a lower wage for tipped employees. [Oregonian, 7/23/10; Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, accessed 9/28/10]


Chris Dudley & the so-called “training wage”:

Chris Dudley said at an event in Hillsboro: “…one area I would like to tackle first is to at least get a training wage going…”


“Chris Dudley cannot spin his way out of his position on lowering Oregon’s Minimum wage. He has no proposal to increase the Minimum Wage,” saidMeredith Wood Smith, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.  “It is clear that Chris Dudley wants to reduce wages for Oregonians making the very least.”




Full Transcript and Video of the Hillsboro event:


[Questioner]: Alright, thanks again Chris for coming.  Um, my question comes back to labor and labor costs.  Um, I’ve noticed that our state tends to have a very high minimum wage and uh I think that’s difficult for our businesses but I think it uh, it also attracts uh people from other states to come to our state and take our jobs away from our kids and uh and those that might need them.  I think it attracts the wrong end of the labor pool to our state uh and they tend to stay here and uh – uh I uh I – I’m concerned about that, I’m interested to know what your – if you share that philosophy and if you have any idea what – what you would do about that or if you want to address that issue.


[Dudley]: Well it’s not a – it’s a – I agree with you on – on – on that issue.  Um it’s one that is very difficult to ex – it takes time to explain so that people understand why you’re talking with – with having the highest minimum wage in the country uh negatively impacts the state, um it’s something that I, from an economic standpoint, I understand and you talk to restaurants, restaurants will say listen, we’ve got less employees than we would otherwise because of this and it doesn’t make sense that our – our waitresses are getting tips plus the highest minimum wage in the country where our – those in the back – there’s a dispri-disproportionate amount of compensation, there’s so many negative issues with it that I think need to be addressed.  Um so it’s something I’m – I’m not going to make a forefront campaign issue on it because I think it’s something – it’s a hot button that people don’t really understand, um but at some point I’m – I’m well aware of the issue and I’m also concerned about with – with – I’m very concerned in our state that we have unemployment rate uh between ages 18 and I think it’s 22 it might be 24 of 35 percent in our state.  And in minority population it’s above 50 and what I get concerned about is if you don’t learn how to work it gets harder and harder to get in the workforce and so I think it’s very conc- that – that’s one area I would like to tackle first is to at least get a training wage going um to get people so that they at least have the opportunity to work and I think – think we’re really hurting our future by – by not doing so.  [Dudley Campaign Event, 9/9/10]