October 1, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington, NY – The LA City Council voted 12-3 on Wednesday September 24th to raise the minimum wage to $15.37 per hour for workers at hotels with at least 150 rooms. The Wall Street Journal described the victory as “the latest in an unfolding national trend,” citing similar wins for $15 per hour in the cities of SeaTac and Seattle in Washington, and the expected passage of a $15 minimum wage ballot measure in San Francisco this November.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is releasing his own proposal for a major increase in the minimum wage for all workers. Garcetti announced in a Labor Day address that he supports raising the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 per hour by 2017, with annual increases to keep pace with the cost of living that will put it on track to reach $15.
With “hugely popular” proposals to raise the minimum wage appearing on the ballot in four red states with closely-watched races this November, NPR’s Mara Liasson reports that a number of Republican candidates have undergone a “sea change” on the issue, now expressing support for an increase in the minimum wage in an effort to align themselves with the vast majority of voters.
Daniel Salazar connects this year’s groundswell of state and local minimum wage victories to the momentum of the fast-food workers’ movement, writing in McClatchy that efforts to raise the minimum wage have “gained a lot of attention this year,” including, “earlier this month, when fast-food workers across the country went on strike demanding companies pay them a $15-per-hour “livable” wage, more than double the current federal floor of $7.25.”
On the heels of recent news that McDonald’s posted the worst sales decline in more than a decade last August, Rick Munarriz in USA Today cites the fast-food workers’ movement as one reason why “McDonald’s is falling apart,” noting that “a lot of people think it's not just the food that's cheap at McDonald's.”