Mayor’s $15 minimum wage plan earns support of low-wage workers

Working Washington expresses support for Mayor Murray’s $15 minimum wage plan

“This is a $15 minimum wage plan that works for workers, and for the entire city”

On behalf of the fast-food workers whose strikes, marches, boycotts, and other mobilizations brought the call for $15 an hour to the center of public debate, Working Washington issues the following statement in support of the Mayor’s plan to achieve a true $15 minimum wage for all workers:

This is a $15 minimum wage plan that works for workers, and for the entire city.

Representatives of working people, businesses, nonprofits, and other diverse community leaders have come together on a recommendation that reaches a true $15 minimum wage for all workers, helps independent businesses & nonprofits thrive, and includes robust community-based enforcement.

It’s an incredible accomplishment.

On May 30th of last year, Seattle fast food workers went on strike for $15 because they knew that raising pay was necessary — even if in those first days it might not have seemed possible we could get there. But their leadership and commitment helped spark an extraordinary grassroots workers’ movement that rapidly built support across the entire city. Less than a year later, we are on the verge of achieving a $15 minimum wage that ensures every worker in Seattle can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy.

Fast food workers led the way forward, and the city has heard their call. 

What matters most to me is my 4 year old daughter, Canaela,” said Julia DePape, a Seattle McDonald’s worker with Working Washington. ”My dream is to give her the same opportunities as other children. For starters, I want to provide a stable home for her and I want to give her a space to call her own. Also, Canaela loves cats and dogs and probably any other animal she’d meet. I dream of taking her to the zoo for the first time because I can only imagine how her face would light up. With $15, I have a chance at that!”

Now that Mayor Murray has achieved broad agreement on a plan that makes a true $15 minimum wage a reality for all Seattle workers, we look forward to working with City Council to move forward and put these recommendations into law.

Highlights:

The Mayor’s plan raises up 100,000 low-wage workers, lifting our entire city:

  • Everyone who works at a big business like McDonald’s or Lowe’s and doesn’t receive healthcare through their job will see their minimum wage rise to $15/hour by January 1, 2017. The $15/hour minimum will increase with inflation every year after that; this rate sets the standard for all workers.
  • Every low-wage worker in the city will see a significant increase to their base wage each year as they get to $15/hour, and then to parity with the citywide minimum
  • Every worker gets to the same place: a true inflation-adjusted $15 minimum wage — with no deductions for tips or benefits. At current rates of inflation, the citywide minimum for all workers will reach about $18.13/hour in ten years.
  • Every worker will benefit from a robust system of community-based enforcement that ensures the $15 minimum wage, sick leave, wage theft, and other labor standards are realities for every worker in Seattle.

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Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington, sage@workingwa.org

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