Los Angeles Workforce gets Wage Hike

The Los Angeles’ workforce would soon have a reason to rejoice as the Los Angeles’ City Council has voted in favor, to increase Los Angeles’ minimum wage to $15 an hour, over the next five years, benefitting an estimated 800,000 workers in the city.

On Tuesday, the members of the City council voted, 14-2, to increase the minimum wage from the current $9 to $15 an hour by 2020. It’s the first of two votes needed to finalize the bill. This proposal was unanimously approved on May 13 by the city’s Economic Development Committee.

Once finally approved, it would require businesses with more than 25 employees to provide $15 pay level by 2020. This 67% increase in pay would be implemented gradually, starting at $10.50 an hour in 2016, then $12 in 2017; $13.25 in 2018; $14.25 in 2019; going up each year until it reaches $15 in 2020.

Companies with 25 or fewer workers would follow a slightly slower increase in minimum wage pay, and would be granted an extra year to comply with the wage hike.

The favorable vote marks the victory for labor and community groups that have pushed for similar pay hikes in several US municipalities, with the federal minimum wage stagnant at $7.25 an hour since 2009.

Curren Price Jr., City Councilman stressed,” We are embarking upon, I think, the most progressive minimum wage policy anywhere in the country”. Mayor Eric Garcetti stated that it would provide myriad benefits.

Ruben Gonzalez, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Public Policy opposes the hike in minimum wage asserting that it would place an undue burden on businesses, and would eventually force employers to lay off workers.

Other cities like Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area city of Emeryville have also moved similar motions to increase their minimum wages in phases. Chicago and New York City have already approved of such hikes last year.