Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

The fight for a higher wage in Los Angeles has brought together students, home care workers, fast food employees, and many more. (Photo: Fight for 15 LA/Facebook)

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

'If we can win $15 in one of America’s most populous cities we know it will give momentum to workers around the country who are fighting for the same thing.'

Lauren McCauley

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.

Advocates were quick to praise the 14-1 vote, calling it a "huge" boost for the country's growing workers' rights movement.

Albina Ardon, a McDonald’s employee from Los Angeles and a member of the minimum wage advocacy group Fight for $15 LA, said that the win illustrates the power of grassroots organizing and paves the way for other cities to pass living wage laws.

"People used to think we had no chance, but we are steadily winning the fight by demanding $15 an hour to lift our families out of poverty," Ardon said. "If we can win $15 in one of America’s most populous cities we know it will give momentum to workers around the country who are fighting for the same thing."

"People like me, who work hard for multibillion-dollar corporations like McDonald’s, should not have to rely on food stamps to survive," she continued. Ardon, a mother of two and ten year employee of McDonald's, currently makes $9.95 an hour. The vote comes amid a growing push by workers and anti-poverty advocates for U.S. cities to protect workers amid a growing wealth gap.

The federally mandated minimum wage has stagnated at $7.25 since June 2009.

Los Angeles council members are also considering a motion to require paid sick leave, a provision that was initially inserted in the minimum wage legislation but removed over the objection of local business leaders. On Tuesday, the lawmakers agreed to consider that policy separately.

The wage increase will now be submitted to the city attorney’s office, which will draft an ordinance that will return to council members later this year for approval, the Los Angeles Times reports. Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the wage boost into law. The wage will initially be set at $10.50 an hour as of July 2016.

See unfolding reactions on Twitter under the hashtags #raisethewage or #RaiseadEnforce15.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo