Minimum Wage Goes Up July 1st

June 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Some workers in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County will get a bump in pay starting July 1, when the minimum wage in those areas goes up to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees and to $12 an hour for businesses with 26 or more workers.

The hike is the second of five annual increases to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.

The wage hike is mandatory for all but a very small number of employers, according to the County.

Workers whose jobs takes them to multiple locations are entitled to the higher wage for the hours they work in unincorporated areas, if they work as least two hours per week in those areas, according to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ (DCBA) Wage Enforcement Program (WEP) website.

Where you live or where your employer is headquartered is not a factor in determining which wage rate applies, the department said.

Since the first hike took place in 2016, wage enforcement officials have visited over 1,800 businesses, according to WEP. Their goal was to explain to business owners and managers their responsibilities under the law, provide a copy of the required minimum wage posting, and to inform them about DCBA’s Small Business Services. DCBA also mailed out information to 15,000 businesses on the upcoming wage increase and information on the Small Business Initiative.

Employers or workers who have questions about the wage change should contact the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ (DCBA) Wage Enforcement Program (WEP) at 1-800-593-8222 or visit the WEP website.

“Business owners should feel free to come to us for any questions or to find out about County resources that can help them during the wage increases,” said DCBA Director Brian J. Stiger.

 

Gov. Brown Signs Legislation to Raise Minimum Wage in California

April 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In front of a boisterous downtown Los Angeles crowd of legislater, union leaders and workers who have been fighting for increased salaries, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

Brown, during a ceremony at the Ronald Reagan State Building, said the passage of SB 3 doesn’t mark the end of the struggle for livable wages, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

“It’s about people,” Brown said. “It’s about creating a little tiny balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced.”

The state Assembly and Senate both approved the legislation Thursday, despite opposition from Republicans and business leaders.

Under the legislation, California’s $10-an-hour minimum wage will increase to $10.50 in January 2017, then to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018. The minimum wage will then go up by a dollar in each of the following years until it reaches $15 in 2022, after which it will continue to rise each year by up to 3.5 percent to account for inflation.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees get an extra year to raise their wage, so that workers will be paid $15 by 2023.

The plan also gives the governor the ability to temporarily halt the raises if there is a forecasted budget deficit of more than one percent of annual revenue, or due to poor economic conditions such as declines in jobs and retail sales.

Government workers who provide in-home health services will receive an additional three paid sick days under the plan.

“Today we’re not just witnessing the signing of a bill, we’re witnessing the honoring of our social contract—specifically that, if you get a job and work hard, you will be able to support family,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said. “For too long, that just hasn’t been the reality Many Californians who work full time can’t put a roof over their families heads or put meals on their table. This bill changes that for tens of thousands of Californians.”

The wage hike will affect 5.6 million workers, or about one-third of the statewide workforce, officials said.

The proposal is similar, although slightly slower, than an already approved increased in the city of Los Angeles minimum wage. Under the city ordinance, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 on July 1 and eventually reach $15 per hour in 2020, with future increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

The same wage hike schedule was also adopted for the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

“Today California leads the nation once again, passing a historic minimum wage increase that will help lift millions of hardworking men and women out of poverty,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Last year, I led efforts to raise the wage in Los Angeles, and we watched a wave of cities follow suit. We are fighting against income inequality with every tool we have.”

Deal Reached to Raise CA Minimum Wage

March 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Labor activists, state lawmakers and local leaders, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, today hailed a deal struck with Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative and labor leaders to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.

Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said he is “pleased that we have a deal in place that will raise living standards for millions of Californians, while also spurring new demand for goods and services and helping businesses thrive.’

The wage hike would affect 5.6 million workers, or about a third of the statewide workforce, de Leon said.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, says he sees “a lot of good in the deal.’
“If we can come together behind this compromise, it will address the need to move to a $15 minimum wage while eliminating the chance that costly or
competing campaigns could mean that no increase initiative passes,’ he said.

The state deal to raise the minimum wage follows the lead of Los Angeles, and continues to put the pressure on national leaders to approve a hike to the federal minimum wage, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“While Washington watches, cities and states act,” he said. “Gov. Brown, Speaker (Anthony) Rendon, President pro Tem de Leon and labor leaders across our state took decisive action to give more Californians a chance to join the middle class. City by city, state by state, we can confront the scourge of income inequality and make a difference in the lives of millions of families.”

Los Angeles city’s minimum wage is set to go up six months sooner than the state’s first planned increase — to $10.50 on July 1 and eventually reaching $15 per hour in 2020, with future increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

The same wage hike schedule was also adopted for the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Other California cities have also enacted wage increases, some even earlier than Los Angeles. San Jose’s wage rose to $10.30 per hour in Jan. 1, 2015, and is set to continue climbing depending on the CPI.

San Francisco’s minimum hourly wage, now at $12.25, will go up to $13 on July 1 and to $15 in 2018, followed by further increases based on CPI, under a measure approved by that city’s voters in 2014.

Brown said the compromise deal, which his administration reached over the weekend with key labor and legislative leaders, “raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change.”

The first hike — to $10.50 — is set to go into effect in January 2017, rising to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018. The minimum wage would then go up by a dollar in each of the following years until it reaches $15 in 2022, after which it would continue to rise each year by up to 3.5 percent to account for inflation.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees get an extra year to raise their wage, so that workers will be paid $15 by 2023.

The plan also gives the governor the ability to temporarily halt the raises if there is a forecasted budget deficit of more than one percent of annual revenue, or due to poor economic conditions such as declines in jobs and retail sales.

Government workers who provide in-home health services will receive an additional three paid sick days under the plan.

The deal comes after two separate ballot initiatives were started by labor unions to raise the statewide minimum wage from $10 to $15 per hour.

Labor officials behind one of the campaigns said they plan to withdraw their proposed measure once the state is signed into law.

Laphonza Butler, president of Service Employees International Union California, said the deal was the result of efforts by fast-food workers, home care providers, early childhood educators and other workers who “made history and delivered hope to millions of families struggling to get by on wages too low to live and without benefits such as sick days.”

“SEIU California’s 700,000 workers are proud to have fought alongside the `Fight for $15’ to show the world that when workers stand together, we can improve the lives of our families and create a fairer economy,” Butler said.

“California elected leaders have demonstrated the leadership the nation is looking for.’

The proponents behind the other proposed ballot measure, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, are still weighing whether to withdraw their minimum wage initiative.

“We all know it’s a long way from a proposal to a final measure that becomes law, so we don’t intend to take an action on our initiative until it is finalized,’ SEIU-UHW Executive Board member Ruby Olivas said.

“There are a lot of details to understand, particularly around the ‘pause button’ provisions,’ she said. “We made a sober and deliberate decision last April to file our initiative, and once all the details are known about the new law, we will make a sober and deliberate decision on whether to withdraw it.’

Rusty Hicks, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, called the deal “a great victory for California, coming off the heels of our victories in Southern California.’

He added that the “agreement also shows that the great strength of our labor movement is felt in every corner of our state.’

But Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, voiced his opposition to the wage deal, saying  the state’s “high poverty rate’ is due to the difficulty of operating a business in California.

“Instead of adding more road blocks for businesses, we must, first, develop an overall plan for economic competitiveness that will rebuild our economy,’ he said. “But, absent that blueprint, we have no way of knowing if this minimum wage hike will help or hurt workers and the job growth which California families need.’

The statewide minimum wage rose to $10 per hour in Jan. 1 and no additional increases had been planned prior to the announcement of the deal.

Initiative to Increase Minimum Wage Qualifies for November Ballot

March 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

An initiative that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide on Jan. 1, 2021 has qualified for the November ballot, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Wednesday.

What backers have dubbed the Fair Wage Act of 2016 would increase the minimum wage to $11 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017, and by $1 in each of the next four years. The minimum wage would then be adjusted annually based on the rate of inflation for the previous year, using the California Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The minimum wage was increased to $10 per hour on New Year’s Day.

Passage of the initiative would result in a change in annual state and local tax revenues potentially ranging from a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to a gain of more than $1 billion, according to an analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office and Department of Finance.

The analysis also found passage would result in increased state and local government spending of billions of dollars per year. Changes in state revenues from passage would affect required state budget reserves, debt payments, and funding for schools and community colleges.

Backers say passage would cause the economy to grow through additional spending by consumers and increase tax revenues. Opponents of minimum wage increases have said they would lead to higher unemployment because of higher costs for businesses and higher prices as business operators pass the higher costs along to consumers.

Jeb Bush, Rubio to Speak in Southland

August 11, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Jeb Bush is scheduled today to deliver a foreign policy address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and fellow Republican presidential candidate and Floridian Sen. Marco Rubio is set to conduct a campaign fundraiser in Long Beach.

Bush’s speech in Simi Valley will focus on how to address “the grave threat of radical Islamic extremism,” according to a campaign aide.

During Thursday’s debate involving the top 10 Republican presidential candidates in the polls, the 62-year-old former Florida governor said, “We need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal,” in a reference to the Islamic militant organization also known as the Islamic State.

Rubio will conduct a two-part fundraiser at the Petroleum Club in Long Beach. Tickets for a roundtable discussion are $2,700, the maximum individual contribution for a candidate seeking his or her party’s under federal law.

Admission to a luncheon that follows is $1,000, according to an invitation posted on the website politicalpartytime.org, which tracks political fundraisers.

Like nearly all fundraisers for presidential candidates, the Rubio fundraiser is expected to be closed to reporters.

At 44, the first-term senator is the youngest of the 17 major candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and would be the nation’s first Latino president.

The visits by the Republicans come one day after a crowd estimated by arena officials at 27,500 people gathered in and around the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, speak for about an hour on domestic and foreign policy issues.

Sanders, I-Vermont, was introduced by actress-comedian Sarah Silverman who said, “I give you, if we’re all very smart and a little bit lucky, the next president of the United States.”

Sanders reminded the audience that, as a congressman, he voted against the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who leads the polls in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, voted in support of the resolution as a senator.

Sanders also repeated his support for the nuclear agreement with Iran and previous calls for public funding of political campaigns; a higher minimum wage; a massive road and bridge project to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure and tuition-free public colleges and universities.

Clinton on Monday announced a plan providing for no student to have to borrow money to pay tuition at a public college. Bush called Clinton’s proposal irresponsible and said it would raise taxes and increase government debt.

“We don’t need more top-down Washington solutions that will raise the cost of colleges even further and shift the burden to hardworking taxpayers,” Bush said.

“We need to change the incentives for colleges with fresh policies that result in more individualization and choices, drive down overall costs and improve the value of a college degree, which will help lead to real, sustained 4 percent economic growth.

Sanders fell about 500 people short of drawing the largest crowd for a 2016 presidential candidate for the third consecutive day.

A rally Sunday night at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, drew 28,000, including those listening to Sanders’ nearly hourlong speech on loudspeakers outside the arena, which is the home court for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, according to Michael Lewellen, the team’s vice president of corporate communications & public engagement.

More than 15,000 people heard Sanders speak Saturday night at the Hec Edmonson Pavilion in Seattle in what was the biggest crowd for any presidential candidate in the 2016 campaign before Sunday, according to the campaign.

“The reason why we are doing well in this campaign is because we are telling the truth,” said Sanders, who would be the nation’s first Jewish president.

“We are talking to the reality of American life today. We are talking about a reality in which almost all of the wealth and income in this country is going to the top 1 percent. We are talking about the United States having more wealth and income inequality than any other major country on Earth and we are going to change that.”

Minimum Wage Hike Would Cut County’s ‘Safety Net’ Costs

July 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The City of Los Angeles last month voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Now the County Board of Supervisors is being asked to raise the minimum wage in the unincorporated areas of the County, the only area over which we have jurisdiction. After reading all the reports and digesting all of the constituent calls and letters, I want to share my thoughts on this issue.

Our starting point is the fact that poverty is alive and well amidst the abundance of our regional economy. Los Angeles County has a larger GDP than the countries of Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Taiwan. Yet, nearly 30 percent of Los Angeles County residents live in poverty, defined by the Stanford University/Public Policy Institute of California as $30,000 annual income for a family of four. That’s a city the size of Chicago made up of only men and women living in poverty, right here in our County.

Nobody supports poverty. Whether one supports or opposes a minimum wage increase, I suspect that most people believe that anyone who works full-time should earn enough to provide for their family. At the same time, it is also clear to me that increasing the minimum wage poses a real and significant challenge to many businesses, especially the small mom-and-pop businesses that make up the majority of these enterprises.

Here’s what made the difference for me. As you know, the County serves as the safety net of last resort for Los Angelenos. It may surprise you to learn that the County government provides many safety net services to people who hold a job. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that this means that the County is, in effect, subsidizing these businesses by providing the services that these workers need to survive. Taxpayers subsidize every dollar of profit earned by a business owner employing workers who rely on County services. In fact, a 2015 report by UCLA and the Economic Roundtable, estimated that raising the minimum wage could reduce public assistance expenditures by more than $300 million per year.

It may be the case that subsidizing businesses with taxpayer money is the best way to combat poverty. I don’t think so. After reading so many reports on the issue, I have come to believe that raising the minimum wage not only fights poverty but also benefits our economy as a whole. I think that most low-wage workers will immediately spend their increased income by buying goods and services to meet their families’ basic needs. They will purchase these goods and services from local businesses, stimulating our local economy.

Another issue that gave me pause is that an economy does not obey municipal boundaries. Your customers are the same whether your business is on the unincorporated or incorporated side of the street. I don’t think it makes sense for business owners to decide where to locate based on anything other than where they think their customers live or shop. I wish that the federal and state governments were acting quickly or aggressively enough to raise wages. But they are not, and local governments throughout the Country have stepped up to the plate.

Since the City has taken action, so must we. Combined, the City and the unincorporated areas would cover more than 50 percent of the more than 10 million County residents. A move by the County will also encourage more and more of the County’s other 87 cities to follow suit. Such collaboration would reduce the potential friction and competition between neighboring municipal jurisdictions. The result: a seamless, Countywide minimum wage resulting in a more stable and prosperous regional economy.

But we also need to make sure that raising the wage won’t kill jobs and disproportionately impact small businesses. That’s why the County must also act to support small businesses as they make this transition. I will introduce a motion for Tuesday that directs the County departments to move forward aggressively on a set of recommendations to support small businesses during this transition.

This is a hard issue and an important decision. But in the end, we have to acknowledge that something must be done to combat the rising inequality that is weakening our society. Ensuring that anyone who works full time can support their family is a solid step in that direction.

Hilda L. Solis is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She served as the 25th United States Secretary of Labor from 2009 to 2013.

 

Updated Jul. 21. 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Supervisors Delay Action on Minimum Wage Hike

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday postponed a vote on whether to move ahead with an increase in the minimum wage, saying they want more information about the possible impacts of such a hike on businesses.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is calling on her colleagues to support the drafting of an ordinance raising the county’s minimum wage incrementally over the next five years, reaching $15 by 2020.

The proposal would mirror the minimum wage hike recently approved by the city of Los Angeles, and Kuehl said the county’s would “complement” the city ordinance.

Some of her fellow supervisors, however, said they were concerned about a report prepared for the county by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation on the possible impacts of a wage increase. Even Kuehl said she had concerns about the overall report, which was released Friday.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he was disappointed the report did not outline the possible effects of a wage increase on nonprofits. He also said he wanted information about the effects of a wage increase on businesses that will be operating across the street from others without the same salary requirements.

He also suggested that some large businesses — such as the Magic Mountain theme park — could be annexed into other cities to avoid paying the higher wages, costing the county tax dollars.

The board agreed to postpone the discussion until July 21.

In the meantime, however, the board heard input from a variety of stakeholders, including minimum-wage workers, business owners, business associations and even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who urged to board to move ahead with the wage hike.

“We must end poverty wages throughout our county,” Garcetti said. “You are the second-largest city in your unincorporated areas. Over a million people depend on you to be the mayors of your town. Our message today to the 2.7 million people of Los Angeles County who live in poverty — I hope that help is on the way. We must end poverty wages in Los Angeles.”

Kuehl’s proposed county wage hike would — like the city’s — include a series of increases over five years, beginning July 1, 2016, and reaching $15 an hour by 2020. The wage would go to $10.50 in July 2016, $12 in July 2017, $13.25 in July 2018 and $14.25 in July 2019. Like the city increase, Kuehl’s proposal would delay the increase by one year for businesses with fewer than 26 employees.

After 2020, the wage would be adjusted annually based on the cost of living.

Kuehl said earlier she was making the proposal because “many county residents, despite working full time, earn too little in wages to cover even the bare necessities, such as safe housing, healthy food, adequate clothing and basic medical care.”

 

L.A. $15 Minimum Wage Almost Official

June 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Wednesday that would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 per hour by 2020 for hundreds of thousands of workers.

The council voted 13-1 to approve the wage hike ordinance, with Councilman Mitchell Englander casting the dissenting vote. Because the vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will return for a final vote next Wednesday.

If given final approval and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the city, with 3.8 million residents, would become the biggest in the country so far with a $15 minimum wage. Seattle, which approved a $15 per hour wage last year, has more than 500,000 people.

Councilman Mike Bonin called the wage hike ordinance the “single biggest thing we will ever do to positively impact the lives of people in Los Angeles.”

“We’re a city that doesn’t tolerate poverty,” he said.

But members of the business community said they are concerned the wage hike will cause them financial harm.

“The outcome is damaging,” said Ruben Gonzalez, vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “The fact is, you’re impacting business owners.”

Garcetti said this was a “historic day” in Los Angeles.

“With this vote, the minimum wage will no longer be a poverty wage in Los Angeles,” he said. “I want to thank the City Council for joining me in building a city that provides greater opportunity and possibility for all of our residents.”

Speaking on 1070 KNX radio earlier in the day, the mayor acknowledged the wage hike could lead to some cuts to jobs or employee hours, but said the data show more people would benefit than would be harmed. We have to do what’s best for the biggest number of people, Garcetti said.

Under the ordinance, the city minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour in July 2016 for businesses with 26 or more employees, with a one-year delay for smaller businesses. By 2016, the state minimum wage will have risen to $10 per hour.

The wage would then go up to $12 an hour by July 2017, $13.25 per hour by July 2018, $14.25 per hour by July 2019 and ultimately to $15 by July 2020.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would start raising their wages one year later and have until 2021 to reach the $15-an-hour mark.

Once the wage reaches $15 per hour for both small and large employers, the ordinance calls for the minimum wage in 2022 to continue increasing based on the cost of living.

The City Council also approved an ordinance that would create a city bureau that would work to enforce the wage.

The ordinance approved Wednesday could still be changed, with city leaders expected to continue debating potential amendments to the law, such as a proposed exemption from the $15 minimum wage for workers covered under union contracts.

Labor leaders who led the campaign to raise the minimum wage are pushing for inclusion of this exemption from the wage for their own union members, but the provision faile d to gain immediate support last week from key City Council members considering the ordinance.

Labor officials say the provision is a “standard” part of wage laws in many other cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and San Diego, and contend the provision is aimed at respecting existing collective bargaining agreements, as well as giving employers and workers wiggle room to reach the best labor agreement for both sides.

However, business leaders who had opposed the wage increase say the same people who had wanted the minimum wage hike now want their own union members to be given a “sub-minimum” wage. They pointed to Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law, which does not have an exemption for unionized workers.

The council may also consider a motion by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell that calls for an exemption for employers with 50 or fewer workers “that provide their employees benefit packages that are equal to or exceed the citywide minimum wage.”

The City Council is also expected to consider including a requirement for employers to provide paid leave to workers.

Homeboy Industries, a group that runs transitional employment programs, is also urging the City Council to give it a reprieve from the city wage over the 18-month duration of its program.

Members of the council are also looking for more clarity on what constitutes an employee in Los Angeles. The ordinance defines an employee as someone who works at least two hours within Los Angeles city limits, which means businesses located outside the city could potentially be paying the higher wages for hours their employees work within Los Angeles.

May Day Rallies to Focus on Worker and Immigrant Rights

April 30, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of downtown Los Angeles tomorrow for annual May Day marches supporting rights for workers and immigrants, with an emphasis on pushing for a $15 minimum wage and implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

The rallies and marches are expected to make life difficult for afternoon commuters in downtown Los Angeles, with street closures planned throughout the area to accommodate what are expected to be massive crowds. In an annual theme, police are urging motorists to avoid the area if at all possible and plan alternate routes.

A pair of marches are planned downtown, with participants expected to begin rallying at 3 p.m. and marching at 4 p.m.:

— Participants in the International Workers March will gather at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway, then march north on Broadway to Grand Park at Broadway and First Street.

— Participants in the Full Rights March will gather at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Broadway, march east on Cesar Chavez, south on Main Street, east on Aliso Street, south on Alameda Street then west on Temple Street, again ending at Grand Park.

The theme of the Full Rights March is “On May Day, No Justice Delayed,” pushing for an increased minimum wage, implementation of Obama’s orders to protect millions of immigrants from deportation and an end to police violence.

“It is our duty as a labor movement to fight for a living wage and enforcement so that working families have a chance to thrive,” said Rusty Hicks, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. “The time is now to raise the wage for hundreds of thousands of working Angelenos.”

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, added that “justice has been denied to millions who await their chance at the American Dream.”

“Justice has been denied to millions who work hard and earn barely enough to survive,” she said. “Justice has been denied to millions whose dignity and respect have been trampled by law enforcement agencies. Enough is enough and our presence on May Day is the exclamation point in our demands.”

The Los Angeles City Council is debating a proposal to raise the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $13.25 an hour by 2017, to $15.25 an hour by 2019, and higher levels in subsequent years based on the Consumer Price Index.

Supporters of the wage hike proposal say it will lift hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers out of poverty and that businesses are capable of absorbing the increased costs, while critics of the plan say it would drive businesses out of the city and slow job growth.

Los Angeles County officials are also conducting studies on a possible hike in the minimum wage.

On the immigration front, millions of immigrants are awaiting the outcome of federal litigation over Obama’s “deferred action” orders, which have been put on hold by a judge in Texas. Opponents of the orders — most notably Republicans in Congress — contend Obama overstepped his authority in issuing the orders.

Martha Arevalo, executive director of the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles, said her organization is working to help immigrants take advantage of the programs, if they are implemented.

“On May 1, we will come together with our partners to give the community reliable, up-to-date information on what the programs do and don’t do, and our legal and organizing staff will be there to answer questions from the public,” Arevalo said.

Workers Rally for Wage Hike

April 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of Southland fast-food workers, along with home-care, child-care and industrial workers, took part in marches and rallies in South Los Angeles and downtown Wednesday as part of a national campaign calling for $15-an-hour wages.

The workers rallied early Wednesday morning outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Crenshaw Boulevard before taking to the streets and marching to Los Angeles County Hall of

Administration where they held a rally and speakers addresses income disparity issues and the problems faced by the working poor.

Similar marches and rallies are being held across the country as part of a National Day of Action in the “Fight for $15.” Organizers said rallies were also being held in 30 countries.

The marches were planned on tax day, because organizers said the workers get paid so little that many must rely on taxpayer-funded public-assistance programs to make ends meet.

Fast-food workers have been rallying every few months for the past year to call for higher wages.

Two weeks ago, McDonald’s President/CEO Steve Easterbrook announced that beginning July 1, workers at company-owned restaurants would be paid $1 an hour above the prevailing minimum wage where the eatery is located. He also said workers would be able to accrue paid time off.

That announcement, however, did little to appease protesting workers, who noted that the increase applied only to workers at company-owned restaurants, while the majority of McDonald’s eateries are franchises that are privately owned. McDonald’s officials said only 10 percent of its restaurants are company owned, and the wage increase would affect about 90,000 employees.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $13.25 an hour by 2017, and potentially to $15.25 by 2019.

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