Wage hike earns Minneapolis pizza chain owner a presidential shout out
January 28, 2014 — 11:11pm
Punch Pizza CEO John Sorrano of Minneapolius said he wasn't sure he would be mentioned by name in the State of the Union speech. Sorrano came to the speech as First Lady Michelle Obama's guest. The President gave Sorrano a shout out by name, praising him for voluntareily raising the minimum wage for his employees. The president used Punch Pizza to introduyce his call for a higher federal minimum wage.
"It was a good story for us, a good story for Minnesota and a good story for small business," said Sorrano, who got a tour of the White House and a photo op with the First Lady.
But what he did was not a political statement, he stressed.
"We're apolitical," he said. "Raising the minimum wage for us was the right thing to do."
Sorrano made the move after considering the attrition rate among his employees.
"It was coincidental that we did it right as it became a hot issue," he said.
Seven DFL state senators said they would not support a bonding bill if there is no funding approved for the Southwest Light-Rail Transit project, a train that would run between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.