LA Considers Highest Minimum Wage In U.S. by Elaine360

la-2013-p1-normalLos Angeles may soon require the highest minimum wage in America.

In the coming weeks, three city council members plan to introduce a motion to raise the minimum wage to $15.37 an hour for the city’s hotel workers — roughly double the California minimum of $8 an hour and the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

The proposal’s authors said they would like to see it apply to all workers citywide, not just hotel workers.

“I’d like to see it through the city of LA,” Councilman Mike Bonin told The Huffington Post. “We know it will improve lives. We know it will bring folks into the middle class. We know it will bring more money into the local economy.”

The effort, dubbed Raise LA, has been underway for about a year and is led by the nonprofit Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, along with a coalition of groups. Volunteers have been canvassing neighborhoods and have garnered support from more than 700 businesses, according to Hasira Ashemu of LAANE.

Bonin and fellow councilmembers Nury Martinez and Curren Price are drafting their proposal. The bill would apply only to hotels with more than 100 rooms. In addition to a $15.37 hourly minimum wage, the measure would require employers to provide five sick days per year. The $15.37 exact amount is meant to align with what Los Angeles International Airport workers make (before a recent raise) thanks to a 1999 “living wage” law.

The proposal has a decent chance of passing, given that 14 of the 15 city council members are Democrats and generally friendly toward labor.

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