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  1. #1
    Regular Ranguvar's Avatar
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    Seattle will raise its minimum wage to $15

    Seattle will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the coming years under a deal brokered by Mayor Ed Murray and blessed by labor and business groups alike, city leaders announced Thursday afternoon.

    The new pay floor will phase in at different speeds for businesses of different sizes, but all employers will have to meet the $15 minimum wage by the end of the decade. Businesses with more than 500 employees nationwide will have a three-year phase-in period, while smaller employers get five years to ratchet up their payscales.

    After reaching $15 an hour, the city’s minimum wage will automatically climb by 2.4 percent each year regardless of the rate of inflation. Even among states with relatively strong minimum wage laws, automatic increases are uncommon. Thursday’s deal will make Seattle the national leader on municipal minimum wage laws. Washington currently has the highest pay floor of any state at $9.32 per hour.

    The deal was a long time coming, with Murray first indicating he wanted to establish a $15 floor back in September during the mayoral campaign. Murray created the 24-member advisory group that crafted the compromise package back in December, and the group of local business owners, restaurateurs, and labor leaders has been grinding toward an agreement for the past four months.

    Approval from restaurant owners is especially noteworthy given the deal’s provisions for tipped workers. Tips can only be counted toward worker minimum pay for the next five years. After that, the separate minimum hourly pay rates for tipped and non-tipped workers will disappear, and all employees citywide will have to be paid $15 hourly or more.

    An activist coalition called 15 Now led by the lone socialist member of the City Council, Kshama Sawant, has pledged to put an immediate wage hike before city voters in November if the deal falls short of the group’s goals. Another coalition, 15 For Seattle, issued a press release Thursday saying that “many of the coalitions 100+ progressive members have already endorsed” the deal but that others “are taking the Mayor’s proposal back to their organizations for review and approval.” Sawant’s ballot initiative would let employers with fewer than 250 workers phase in higher wages over three years but impose the $15 rate immediately for larger businesses.

    Sawant is one of two members of the working group who is opposing the deal announced Thursday, according to a source close to the negotiations. The other is Craig Dawson, the owner of a payments processing company called Retail Lockbox. The head of the city’s Chamber of Commerce is abstaining. But the 21 votes in favor include representatives from two separate chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) chapter, and the MLK Labor Council, as well as local hotel owners, restaurant owners, a pair of Councilmen, and the venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, who has made a name for himself in recent years as a wealthy champion of economic policies that focus on the middle class rather than on business owners and the wealthy.

    There are 102,000 workers in Seattle currently earning less than $15 an hour. Raising those people’s wages will put about half a billion extra dollars of spending money into Seattle workers’ pockets. As SEIU 775 president and coalition co-chair David Rolf said in a statement Thursday, the deal “will pump nearly $500 million into Washington’s economy, proving that a higher minimum wage fuels business and job growth.”
    LOL I need to move. I was making less as an hour as a skilled laborer-shit my mother also only makes about $25,000 as a teacher. OMG I hate this place, so poor, so hungry, yet still so fat. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? HALP

    Well someone has got to do it, especially since the Senate GOP doesn't give a shit.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...-minimum-wage/

  2. #2
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    What happens in the future for Seattle now is conjecture until we see what happens. My bet is on that nothing will change and things will still suck for the poor.

  3. #3
    It is great to see at least one state moving in the right direction. Hopefully when the economy of Seattle doesn't implode, like every conservative seems to think will happen, they will finally listen to reason. Who am I kidding though they have never been a group to pay attention to facts in the past.

  4. #4
    That's good, but now we're gonna have to either stop or jack up the price of the Soap we make :<

    Not that its' bad. We may lose sales, but if it helps society as a whole, it helps. It's a bit llike taxes.

  5.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #5
    Crabby Admin Term's Avatar

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    Well let's be real here OP.

    I can understand you feel like people who do "lesser" work are getting paid more but let's actually consider for a moment that a lot of the people who will get this cash aren't necessarily working full time jobs. Assuming a best case scenerio where someone is working 30 hours a week as a part timer they're still only making a little more than $23,000 a year before taxes. Now if you're living alone and renting a studio/one bedroom, possibly leasing a car, you'd have a survivable income with some cash to throw into your savings and try to build a safety net for yourself in case of a worst case scenario.

    Now if you're a single parent with one or multiple mouths to feed, or possibly you still have your significant other in your life with children, that extra money can go a long way to helping maintain a certain standard of living to where you won't have to worry about things like "do we spend money on groceries or utilities this month?"

    Bit of an extreme example I know, but as I'm sure you're aware, making $25,000 a year is tough to live on by oneself, let alone with a family. Everyone deserves to be paid the cost of living. Now it remains to be seen how much backlash there will be from businesses and the like in regards to passing the cost onto the consumer and so forth. But I don't think we can begrudge any worker for making whatever and they're managingg to give themselves or possibly their children a better future.
    Last edited by Term; 05-02-2014 at 10:16 AM.

  6. #6
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    It's an interesting experiment, especially with regards to tipped workers. The time series are going to be extremely valuable, given how controversial minimum wage effects tend to be.

    I wonder how well the same concept would work, though, in a region where more jobs are susceptible to either automation or outsourcing. It's one thing to raise wages in area where most low-wage employers are bound to the region (for many reasons) and unable to shed employees and entirely another when employers are less constrained. Then again, a fully robotic McDonalds could be the defining moment of our generation.

  7. #7
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    Before you call this a victory note that this will affect a TINY percentage of Seattle's workers. Basically, there's a lot of "fine print" on this one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Term;61798I
    I can understand you feel like people who do "lesser" work....But I don't think we can begrudge any worker for making whatever and they're managing to give themselves or possibly their children a better future.
    That wasn't my intention, I probably should have been more clear. I was merely trying to state how frustrated I am with low wages here, I'm not against a raise in minimum wage at all nor am I belittling or devaluing anyone else's work. I actually share your sentiment; I more upset about my states economic outlook, more than I am jealous of other people getting(potentially) more pay for "less" work.
    Last edited by Ranguvar; 05-02-2014 at 12:19 AM.

  9. #9
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    Kshama Sawant for President.
         
       
    Now,
              let's go play, together...
       
    Together under the
                     clearest of
    blue skies.

  10. #10
    Banned Tycho's Avatar
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    Also, keep in mind how fucking expensive it is to live in Seattle. I merely VISITED the place and shit was expensive as hell, I can only imagine how expensive it is to reside there. I think a minimum wage standard of ~$11 an hour with NO fine print, across the damn country, is a lot more significant and necessary. This MIGHT snowball into something bigger but more likely than not it's going to be horrifically maligned and misrepresented in the media as a "disaster" for Seattle, thus possibly putting the kibosh on wage hikes elsewhere.
    Last edited by Tycho; 05-02-2014 at 12:57 AM.

 

 

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