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Public Papers - 1989

Remarks on Signing the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1989

1989-11-17

Welcome, everybody. First, let me just say that this gives me great pleasure to sign into law the first increase in the minimum wage since 1981. Under this bill, the wage will be set at .25 an hour by April 1st, 1991, and also, for the first time, provides a training wage -- this differential, we call it -- for workers under the age of 20.

I have called for an increase in the minimum wage that would protect jobs and put more money into the pockets of our workers. In my view, this bill does exactly that. I'm pleased to sign it. It offers the promise of better wages for the working men and women and gives incentive to create new jobs for our young people.

And in conclusion -- particularly with the distinguished leaders that came down to the White House to join in this little ceremony -- I want to really thank them and commend the spirit of bipartisanship in which this agreement was hammered out. My administration, the congressional leadership, and organized labor, working together, made this legislation possible, and I think it's a good example of what we can do in the future on other matters. But in any event, I'm delighted, and I appreciate all of you for being here -- the Speaker; the leaders of both parties in the House and in the Senate, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Dole, Mr. Gephardt, Bob Michel; and of course, our Secretary, who was caught up in the middle of all this and did a wonderful job; and all the rest.

But thank you very much. And now I shall sign this with a pen that I don't have to give away. [Laughter]

[At this point, the President signed the bill.]

But I'm very, very pleased you all are here. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 10:58 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas S. Foley, Senators George J. Mitchell and Robert Dole, Representatives Richard A. Gephardt and Robert H. Michel, and Secretary of Labor Elizabeth H. Dole. H.R. 2710, approved November 17, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 157.

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