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Los Angeles to Raise Minimum Wage to $15
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Los Angeles has voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2020.

Summary: Los Angeles has voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2020.

 According to MSNBC, on Tuesday, Los Angeles voters supported raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. NPR notes that the current minimum wage in the city is $9 per hour. The city joins several others around the country, including Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle, in supporting the increase. The city’s decision was seen as a victory for workers who have campaigned for an increase for many months.


Albina Ardon, a McDonald’s employee from Los Angeles who participated in the Fight for 15 Campaign, said, “People like me, who work hard for multibillion-dollar corporations like McDonald’s, should not have to rely on food stamps to survive. My life would be completely different if I were paid $15 an hour. I could afford groceries without needing food stamps, my family could stop sharing our apartment with renters for extra money, and I’d be able to provide my daughters with some security.” The influential Service Employees International Union supports the Fight for 15 campaign.

Last year, President Barack Obama announced the minimum wage would increase to $10.10 per hour.

In a 14-1 city council vote, the raise was approved. It will be slowly phased in over the next several years, with large businesses paying the new rates by 2020, and smaller businesses and non-profits following a year later.

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Economists at the University of California—Berkeley recently published a study demonstrating that over 600,000 Los Angeles employees—which is over 40% of the workers in the city–would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $15.25.

Protestors advocating for an increase in minimum wage caused a major traffic jam in South Carolina in the fall.

Tens of thousands of minimum wage and low-wage employees from various industries, including retail, construction, and fast food, assembled in protests nationwide. Los Angeles’ decision may cause a chain reaction of other California cities following its example, since, according to the Los Angeles Times, it is now the largest city to adopt such a major minimum wage hike.

Earlier in May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that a wage board would recommend pay increases for hundreds of thousands of fast food employees. Additionally, the White House recently supported a Democratic proposal for a $12 per hour federal minimum wage. Hillary Clinton also voiced her support for the increase.

Costco’s profits soared when its CEO announced support for an increase in the minimum wage.

However, not all support an increase in the federal minimum wage. Critics argue that employers may be forced to cut low wage jobs, but studies on the issue show mixed results. Pro-labor economists have admitted that there are not reliable numbers to demonstrate what would occur if a $15 per hour minimum wage was implemented.

Christine Owens, the president of the National Employment Law Project, which supports increasing the minimum wage, said, “[T]he L.A. City Council’s endorsement of $15 is further proof that what seemed an unrealistic economic aspiration only two years ago is mainstream economic reality today.”

Source: MSNBC

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