Unions Hail Seattle Minimum Wage Hike to $15/Hour

SEATTLE —State and national union leaders hailed the unanimous Seattle City Council vote to raise the minimum wage there to $15 an hour, the highest in the nation.  As might be expected, a Right Wing business lobby promised a court challenge.
The council said the hike would start on April 1 and phase in over three years for large firms, four years for large firms with health insurance and seven years for small firms.  It builds upon Washington’s minimum wage of $9.32.  Some 100,000 workers would get a raise.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Seattle’s vote “a milestone in the struggle to raise wages and ensure fair pay for all workers. It is proof that when working people organize and make their voices heard, we all benefit.
“While Republicans in Congress fail to act, Seattle, along with other cities and states around the country, is ensuring that workers receive a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.  We have already seen progress in states from Hawaii to Minnesota, and we will continue to fight to provide every worker with a good living wage and an opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” he said.
“The passage of the phased-in $15 minimum wage was a first strike against income inequality,” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council. “Finally workers get a small share of the prosperity that they create. This is a very proud moment for the labor movement.”