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Brooklyn Brewery Co-Founder and President Steve Hindy Endorses Living Wage Bill

January 6, 2012
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Business Leader Urges New York City Council to Pass Legislation This Month

NEW YORK, NY -- Steve Hindy, co-Founder and President of Brooklyn Brewery, today announced his endorsement of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, living wage legislation supported by a majority of New York City Council members and most New Yorkers across the five boroughs.

This legislation will require that when developers or businesses receive $1 million dollars or more in New York City discretionary subsidies the employees of these companies, including employees of retail tenants in malls developed with these subsidies, will be paid $10 per hour with benefits or $11.50 without benefits.

"The living wage requirement established by the legislation will apply only to large developers and larger companies at subsidized projects—they are in the best position to meet the requirement. Small businesses with revenues of less than five million dollars, manufacturers, affordable housing providers, and nonprofits are exempted,” Hindy said.

“When large developers and companies benefiting from subsidies boost wages, everyone wins: more working people are self-sufficient, more demand for products and services is generated and consumer spending at businesses of all sizes increases. This legislation tells the private sector that government wants to incentivize a higher-wage economy that will enable New York City to maintain its competitive advantage. It’s the right message to send.”

Hindy said the New York City living wage legislation is an important step in redressing the disparity in income that has developed in America in the last 30 years.

“It is wrong that CEO pay is now 400 times the lowest paid workers. This is bad for business, bad for society and bad for the economy. Trickle-down economics have failed. My reading of history is that the US economy does much better in times when there is not such great disparity between the 99% and the 1%. And workers who benefit from this legislation will put their pay increase right back into the local economy,” he said.

Brooklyn Brewery has always paid its workers well above minimum wage. “This helps us attract and keep the best workers, workers who have a stake in the success of the company,” said Hindy. “I urge the New York City Council to pass the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act this month.”

About Steve Hindy and Brooklyn Brewery
While serving as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press in the 1980s, Steve Hindy caught the homebrewing bug from diplomats in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where alcohol is forbidden. When he returned to Brooklyn, he began brewing and selling Brooklyn Lager. He started the business in 1987 and built a brewery in Williamsburg in 1996. Since then, his beers have won many national and international awards, and his book, “BEER SCHOOL: Bottling Success at The Brooklyn Brewery,” has become a favorite among beer connoisseurs and business schools. Brooklyn beers now are sold in 23 states and 20 foreign countries.