The San Luis Obispo-based moving company, Meathead Movers, has increased its starting pay to $15 in an effort to provide an attractive, supportive work environment for employes facing high housing costs and tight budgets.
CEO Aaron Steed told The Tribune the raise implemented two weeks ago will help attract and retain employees.
Starting pay at the company was $12 per hour. Each existing employee also will get a $3-per-hour raise, no matter their current compensation rate.
The increases, the highest in the company’s 22-year history, affects all labor employees company-wide at its five branches in Santa Ana, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield and Fresno.
Last month, the company announced it’s hiring 200 new employees, including 50 in SLO.
Striving to employ student athletes working their way through college, Meathead Movers has 700 employees company-wide, including about 120 in San Luis Obispo. That total will increase to about 900, according to company plans.
“We felt that we could solve a lot of problems if we raised wages,” Steed said. “Having been a student athlete myself, I know and understand the struggles of supporting yourself while going to school and playing a sport.”
Steed, a former Cuesta College wrestler, said many workers take on two jobs to make ends meet, including night jobs such as at restaurants and bars, in addition to their Meathead Mover positions, to deal with the high cost of living — especially in SLO.
He hopes the pay increase will reduce their workload to one job.
“Working late shifts was affecting their sleep and causes a lot of stress,” Steed said. “We feel like if our employees are well taken care of it will affect how they’ll interact with our company and how they treat customers.”
The changes come as the company enters its busiest moving season, it said in a news release, and the pay hike along with tip potential for employees will help attract applicants.
Steed said the increase will also help the company smoothly transition as state laws change over the next few years.
In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will increase the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.
Steed said that in order to increase wages in the company by $3 per hour, Meathead Movers will increase its expenses by about 7 percent. Customers also will pay an extra 3 to 4 percent for labor costs, meaning a typical move of $1,000 will now cost $1,030 or $1,040.
To learning more about available jobs with the company and hiring, go to the following web link: www.meatheadmovers.com/about-us/positions/.