Home | About | Donate

In Victory for Growing Workers Movement, LA Passes $15 Minimum Wage


In Victory for Growing Workers Movement, LA Passes $15 Minimum Wage

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to approve a $15 an hour minimum wage, becoming the largest U.S. city to adopt a living wage.

The ordinance would boost the $9 an hour base wage to $15 by 2020 for as many as 800,000 workers. Los Angeles now joins Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle, which have already adopted similar laws.


By 2020 the so-called “living” wage should be about $25 – not $15. Australia pays its citizens a minimum wage of $16.88 TODAY and provides free health care and also provides every worker get at least ten sick days, 20 vacation days and ten or more paid holidays every year. Everyone. All over Australia.


Of course, there is a catch. Part-time and temp workers don’t get these benefits. Instead, they get paid an extra 20 percent to 25 percent in cash compensation. As a result, a part-time, entry-level adult fast food worker in Australia makes a minimum of $21.25 an hour. Oh, plus health insurance. That’s universal in Australia.

If our “system” is so complicated, why don’t we simply replicate someone else’s that works better??

<a href=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivnzIYGkIaQ>Fiat Empire :neutral_face:


This needs to be understood in the context of a quite possible impending “standstill” (basically a freeze- in this context it would be a block on any increase beyond where they were on the date of accession to the agreement) - Thats what trade deals do, they put a freeze on all laws and policies - promising foreign investors that the laws will never make their profits go down.

Thats whats likely to be buried inside the super secret pending TISA trade deal.


Glossary of Trade terms >> Standstill:

     "Under this principle, member countries in a trade or investment 
      agreement commit themselves to the imposition of the status quo on 
      existing measures and practices which do not conform to a number of 
      obligations such as national treatment and most-favored-nation 
      treatment. Member countries commit themselves not to introduce new 
      legislation that would violate these obligations. Standstill do not 
      apply, however, to any general exceptions (e.g. national security) or 
      to any temporary derogations (e.g. balance-of-payments), or to any 
      exceptions (reservations) for future measures taken by these 

A global minimum wage, would likely be WTO-proof!


I just find it hard to believe that it costs about two hours of [pre-tax!!] labor minimum wages to cross the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan and no one is batting an eye.


Thats in part because parking is scarce in Manhattan, and they want to encourage people to take public transportation.

Are you familiar with the story of National City Lines the intentional tearing up of hundreds of beloved electric trolley systems. How the US went from having the best public transport system in the world to the worst in just 30 years, getting addicted to oil in the process?

We’re all familiar with our health care disaster, thats privatization disaster number one - National City Lines is the other privatization story that we should know about that should show us just how stupid and horrible it is for the US to be trying to force privatization on the world in TISA.

Part of the reason we have an underclass is this intentional destruction of our public transport system.


Not that i am planning to move to Australia and live on minimum wage but a quick search for cost of living comparison between US and Australia shows Consumer Price Index in US is about 20% lower.

Can’t wait for my town to pass an ordinance like that, i’ll quit my day job and work min wage for a year or so and relax, spend some time with the family. 30 hr week @ 15/hr, fed tax is most likely zero after deductions.


NYC is a dilapidated relic with sewage in the streets. If one doesn’t work on Wall Street there is no reason any sane person should or would want to live there. This embarrassment is still relevant?


Felicitaciones a la gente/los obreros en Los Angeles!

This raise in minimum wage will benefit EVERYONE…including the McDonalds in LA County. What a concept…mandating a wage that is close to being a “living wage” and considering paid sick leave in the future. Taking care of workers should not have to be mandated by laws. It should be at the heart of every business because history has proven that happy workers are productive workers and higher production means greater profits. And workers paid livable wages are able to consume more. Everyone benefits.


Seriously. I’m tired of having only to choose between the lesser of two evils.


Why not? In a nation that allows CEOs to bring home 450x the wages of the actual employees doing the heavy lifting.

450x!! HeLLo!! Is anybody awake in there??


The labor force participation rate in Australia is 10 percent higher on most sources meaning the higher wage both creates more jobs and encourages more people to work.

If someone is going to make more than 7.25 an hour selling contraband cigarettes or begging for change why would they work? Contrary to what you imply higher wages do not translate to less jobs or people working less hours per week.

That said a case could be made for an even shorter workweek with those higher wages. This would result in more jobs and a better family life. It would likely result in less stress and lower health care costs along with lower crime rates/

Now the problem with these so called geniuses that promote this mess called " the free market" , higher crime rates and higher health care costs means larger GDP growth and higher profits to certain industries. Any that put their faith in such a cock eyed system is quite frankly an idiot or is one of that small number churning profits off another’s misery


You must have hardly any expenses if you think 30 at 15 would be easy street.


Excellent post Matt. Sign me up.


Please call your congresspeople because the entire concept of “living wages” that we grew up with is under attack by neoliberalism in the three trade deals and they in a thousand ways repudiate the whole compassion and people should earn enough to live on if they work frame. I cannot even begin to explain how important this is. Trade deals = race to the bottom, they equal working people all being forced to compete with one another for the same jobs in the US. TISA will likely replace the H1B visa program at some pont several years into the future with true high skill, low wage workers from other countries. Them fighting so hard is them knowing this is coming and you dont.

See what standstill means, both GATS and NAFTA have standstills, it basically means after certain deals are signed the country must freeze “non conforming measures” and only liberalise (lower wages most likely) not raise them,

The thing that is happening is exponential growth in technology, higher productivity, far more skills are required to work in a modern business than previously. People have to wear a great many hats.

There is underlying downward pressure except in some “in demand” areas.

But, people cannot live on less and people “deserve more” if they have been working at a place for a while, so some businesses pay better. I personally have always tried to keep my employees happy when I have employed people. (Not in quite a while) Its a big responsibility.

Jobs are going away!

It is nuts to change everything for investors, Under trade deals they get a right to have everything stay the same and then politicians have to lie because they cannot tell you that they cannot do anything for you, we gave your future away, sorry. You didn’t have a lobbyist.

Its going to be harsh for recent college graduates seeing people from other countries with PhDs get those jobs. College students should have demonstrated for better treatment. Now they are spinning it as a crisis.


True, not for the “family of 4 with one adult working” everyone keeps profiling. It was the mid/late nineties but two of us were living $364.59/week after taxes. Didn’t have any problems. You can buy a clunker for about $500, drive it for a year and get a new one when it breaks down. Cook your own meals. Have a budget and stick to it. It helped there were no “had to have” items then like iphones and high speed internet then. The usual stuff.


Adjusting for inflation and the fact that buying, registering and operating a car in California is way more than $500 a year; the numbers offered are bizarre. Sales tax in LA is about 10%, so that’s a $550 dollar car. Registration is yearly and passing an " old clunker " through smog tests is expensive, around $250, yearly. There are no $2000 cars in LA that are worth owning, btw. When the poor buy such a car, statistics show, the car has about 25% chance of needing repairs in the first 120 days of ownership ( $700-800 on average ) So, you advise the poor to break the law to get to work? Baltimore and Ferguson solution, eh? Paying fines and operating costs, endlessly, is not a good plan, methinks. Your $365 a week would be about $550 now, adjusting for inflation. California has a 10% income tax, the Feds hit you for about 12%, SS, Medicare and mandated health insurance, another 8-10%. So, to get to $550 a week you’d have to make about $20-22 an hour ( 40 hrs a week ) with all the factors like food, shelter, clothing and what not. Which is where the Australian gov’t #s seem pretty accurate. The other solution is the underground economy taking over the country. This is called the " lets become Mexico plan " and the lower cost of living is offset by the astronomical personal cost of being buried in a shallow grave without your head. Which the 1% like because they can afford security guards and living in a state of anarchy.


Please tell me where I can get a clunker for 500 bucks that will last a year. Where did you live? A cardboard box? No unexpected expenses like doctor or dental visits?

Your comment is in line with people who basically say to someone working their ass off full time for shit wages “buck up loser what the hell are you complaining about?”

A cell phone and an internet connection are now simply necessities to get and keep a job, or have any chance in hell of having a life that is more than scraping by and praying you don’t get sick.

I’m glad you have found your bliss in such a meager existence. Perhaps I’m not as enlightened.


At the time I was living in Canada. Rent on a 1BR apt was $700 plus change and the $364.59 was after taxes and the “free healthcare” premium. BTW, “free healthcare” doesn’t cover dentist visits. You have to buy insurance like everyone else… Quick math shows about 25% tax rate. Sales tax was $15%. That was when i was the only one working. Once my wife joined the work force it was Christmas every day.

I could have found excuses all day as well and whine but it would not have helped anyway.


You have a point. California is pretty f-d up that way. Used to live there myself.


Excuses? Whining? What on Earth are you talking about?