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Petitions Rolled Into Los Angeles City Hall Calling For Minimum Wage Raise To $15.25 Per Hour

Latest Los Angeles City Hall news.
Latest Los Angeles City Hall news.

Bundles of petitions were carted today into Los Angeles City Hall in shopping carts, wheel barrows and dollies laden with boxes by members of a coalition pushing for the city leaders to raise the minimum wage to $15.25 per hour in Los Angeles.

The Raise the Wage coalition presented petitions containing about 100,000 signatures and urged the City Council to adopt the wage hike proposal now being debated.

Laphonza Butler, co-chair of Raise the Wage and president of SEIU California, SEIU-ULTCW, told the council that about 700,000 Los Angeles residents who earn below a $15 minimum wage “are waiting for you to act to raise the wage and to enforce it with sick days.”

Rusty Hicks, secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, who also is a co-chair, called on the council to adopt a wage hike plan “with no loopholes” to address the challenges facing low-paid workers and those living in poverty in Los Angeles.

“We ask that you answer that call, step forward and pass a comprehensive policy, $15 an hour, as soon as possible, (with) strong wage enforcement and earned sick days in the city of L.A.,” he said.

The council is considering Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 per hour by 2017, as well as a more ambition plan supported by some members to raise the wage to $15.25 per hour by 2019. Both proposals would peg the minimum wage to cost of living increases in the years after the hikes are reached.

Some members of the council are pushing an exception for tipped workers, who they say often already earn at least $15 per hour once tips are included, but supporters of an across-the-board wage hike say it is illegal under state law to count tips towards meeting the minimum wage.

Council members Mitch O’Farrell and Bob Blumenfield, both supporters of the exception, sent a letter to City Attorney Mike Feuer today asking him to consider a legal opinion that says the exception for tipped workers could be achieved using the city’s existing legal authorities.

 

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