Seattle approves $15 minimum wage
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/3/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In a historic move, they city council of Seattle voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which is twice the U.S. required minimum wage.
Seattle residents gathered to support the measure to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The decision will go into effect next year, and through the next three to seven years, it will eventually rise from the city's current minimum wage of $9.32.
This decision gives Seattle the distinction of having the highest minimum wage of any major U.S. city. The federal minimum wage is set at $7.25, though 38 states have set higher levels. California, Connecticut, and Maryland have all recently passed laws increasing their minimum wages to $10 or more.
Previously, San Francisco held the highest minimum wage at $10.74 an hour, and in 2013, a small town near Seattle, SeaTac, passed a similar $15 an hour measure.
The vote, "sends a message heard around the world," said one city councilor.
Seattle's mayor, Ed Murray, had run for election on the minimum wage issue, in fact, the actual proposal that was voted on by the city council came from an advisory group of labor, business and non-profit representatives, which was organized by Murray.
The plan allows smaller businesses to wait up to seven years to increase the wage, while those who provide health insurance to their employees will get four. Firms with more than 500 employees nationally will have at least three years to increase the wage.
A few local businesses have come out in support of the measure, but a group of restaurant owners say that the measure will force them to cut back on new employees and operational hours.
One group of lobbyists is going to sue because of the varied phase-in time.
"The suit will seek to overturn the unfair and discriminatory minimum wage plan that was approved by the City Council," said the International Franchise Association in a statement.
President Barack Obama has recently called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10, a decision that has caused some criticisms, and would require action by a heavily partisan Congress.
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