Seattle expected to approve $15 an hour minimum wage today

If approved, a new ordinance would raise Seattle's already nation-leading minimum.
By Matt Bradwell  |  June 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM
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SEATTLE, June 2 (UPI) -- The Seattle City Council will vote today on a plan to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.

The new minimum wage is expected to pass, as the council unanimously approved the language in the ordinance after working closely with local labor and business leaders.

"Seattle, and other cities, are taking direct action to close our nation's huge income gap because the federal and state governments have failed to do so," City Councilman Nick Licata said after the ordinance was finalized last week. "By significantly raising the minimum wage, Seattle's prosperity will be shared by more people and create a sustainable model for continued growth."

In addition to local officials, trade unions also supported the wage hike.

"This ordinance not only will lift many, many workers out of poverty, it tells the business establishment in no uncertain terms that the game is changing, that working people are tired of watching the 1% get richer while the rest of us get poorer," said the local branch of AFL-CIO.

At $9.32 an hour, Seattle currently has the highest minimum wage of an major American city. If approved, the new minimum wage would begin being phased in April 1, 2015.

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