What to expect at this morning's council vote on the $15 minimum wage

Supporters of $15 for Seattle to begin lining up to speak before Council at 7:45 am

In just 364 days, fast food workers have moved $15/hour from strike demand to council vote

The City Council minimum wage committee is expected to vote on the $15 minimum wage ordinance Thursday, May 29, 2014, 9:00 am. The first supporters are expected to begin lining up to speak before Council as early as 7:45 am.

Several items to consider as Council debates and votes on amendments to the mayor's proposed ordinance:

1) The call for $15/hour was first heard in Seattle almost exactly a year ago, when fast food workers went out on strike on May 30, 2013. Three hundred sixty-four days later — after strikes, boycotts, meetings with councilmembers, civil disobedience, an epic 15-mile march from SeaTac, and more — Seattle is now on the verge of making $15/hour a reality for 100,000 low-wage workers.

2) On franchises: Fast food and other franchise systems function as large enterprises and should be treated as such. Fast food workers have written council to oppose any move to carve franchise systems out of the mayor's plan, and it appears no such amendments are being offered. As workers know, franchisees are tightly controlled by their corporate franchisors; they also enjoy the same kinds of large-scale purchasing efficiencies, pooled marketing budgets, and optimized operations systems as other large corporate employers.

3) On "training wages" and other subminimum wages: A minimum wage should be just that — a minimum. Every worker should be paid enough to support themselves, and high-turnover employers should not be given a low-wage loophole.

4) On enforcement: Working Washington strongly supports the enforcement principles agreed to by the Income Inequality Advisory Committee, but the current language in the proposed minimum wage ordinance does not do enough to reflect those principles. We support Council proposals to strengthen the enforcement provisions of the ordinance in line with what the IIAC recommended, and we support the work of the mayor's Labor Standards Advisory Committee to put forth policies that ensure all workers benefit from our city’s labor standards with widespread community-based, culturally-competent education, outreach, and monitoring.


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