With our own minimum wage battle underway here in Maine, the fight for higher wages goes on everywhere. In NYC, some fast food workers are picketing for increased wages and the establishment of a union. And although wage increases are needed to keep up with inflation, there has to be a balance.

I spent 11 years in the airline business on the aircraft maintenance end of things. We had some mechanics who wanted the same pay and union organization as our company counterparts in Boston. We're talking the early 80's, and if memory serves me correctly, Boston mechanics were making on the average of $25 per hour. As we were a subsidiary (express) of the airline, there was no way our operation could afford such pay. In fact, when another airline start up in the Portland area dealt with disgruntled employees and the signing on of a union, they closed up in short order.

My point is that there has to be a balance. But where is it? Higher wages for those making minimum pay may mean fewer jobs and higher prices on goods and services.

This hot topic will be in the news over the next couple of years or so. What is the solution?

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