In time for May Day, Seattle moves to raise minimum wage to $15/hour
May 1, 2014
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Thursday announced a proposal to phase in an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years.
Businesses with greater than 500 employees nationally will have at least three years to phase in the increase.
Smaller organizations will have seven years, with the new wage including a consideration for tips and health care costs over the first five years.
Once the $15 wage is reached, future increases will be tied to the consumer price index.
The plan now goes to the City Council for discussion.
Washington state already has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $9.32 an hour. Murray made raising the minimum wage a campaign promise last year.
Socialist Council member Kshama Sawant had this to say about the plan that exempts corporations like McDonald’s from making the increase immediately even though they have the profit to cover it: "The fact that all these loopholes exist in this recommendation shows that while business has lost the public debate on [$15 minimum wage], they are successful in using the backdoor mechanism in order to push for watering down the deal… Every year of phase-in is another year that a worker has to live in poverty. So we have to keep fighting. We will keep building the pressure from below.”
So to be clear, nothing has been won yet, but there has been a (somewhat flawed) plan put in place to phase in this higher minimum wage.