Unions Continue to Seek Waiver from L.A. Minimum Wage Hike

AP Photo/Richard Vogel
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Unions in Los Angeles are again seeking to exempt their workers from the $15 minimum wage hike for which they pushed earlier this year.

The minimum wage hike is set to take effect in 2020. Unions want companies that employ their workers to be exempted from the new minimum wage, in a bid to increase unionization and union membership.

Head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Rusty Hicks, told the Los Angeles Times in May that virtually “every [California] city that has passed a minimum wage include this kind of a provision.” The Times reportedly found inconsistencies with this statement pointing out that “San Diego, the largest California city to raise its minimum wage in recent years before L.A., did not include such an exception.”

The attempt has created divisions among union and labor leaders.

Drastic increases in the minimum wage by the West Coast’s liberal cities have forced many small businesses to close, including San Francisco’s beloved Borderlands Books; many other small businesses are expected to follow. Some economists have warned that the minimum wage hike will also raise youth unemployment.

The higher wages have also forced many business establishments to reduce their workforces, and fast-food chains are increasingly replacing human beings with computers.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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