UPDATE: Another pivotal step towards implementing the $15 minimum wage took place today (June 3rd) as the LA City Council passed the wage hike on a 13-1 vote! The bill will go up for one final vote on June 10th. Let's continue to make history and Raise the Wage! Congratulations to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the LA Raise the Wage Coalition who have been fighting every day for this incredible victory. Onward!
The extraordinary campaign to raise wages for low-income Californians scored one of its biggest victories to date yesterday when the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to hike the minimum wage for Angelenos to $15 per hour by 2020. The union-led coalition LA Raise the Wage has been building support for months to secure yesterday’s historic 14-1 council vote in favor of the wage hike.
This victory kicks into overdrive a growing national movement to raise wages for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. At a time of historic inequality, when virtually all income gains are going to those at the top, wage increases in LA, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and other cities are restoring balance to an economy that’s heavily tilted the wealthiest among us.
It’s hard to put in perspective how important this win is for low-wage workers. Higher wages mean better lives. For the single mom trying to support her family on a meager salary, an extra few dollars per hour will make all the difference in her life. It also means she and the hundreds of thousands of other low-wage workers in LA will have more money in their pockets to spend at local businesses.
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Rusty Hicks:
The City Council’s action today creates a path for workers to succeed and gives our economy the boost it needs to grow.
According to a study put out earlier this year by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the wage hike in LA could benefit up to 600,000 workers, three-quarter of whom are people of color. The study also found the benefits of raising wages far outweigh any potential costs.
It’s important to remember that victories like this don’t just happen. They’re the direct result of a powerful uprising by low-wage workers who are demanding a fair economy. The Fight for $15, OUR Walmart and other grassroots, worker-led campaigns are nothing short of game-changers.
While this victory is huge, it’s just the beginning. Unions all across California will continue to push for higher wages that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of workers. It’s time to step on the gas so that we can restore the promise of America to everyone.