Minimum Wage Record Set Out In West Hollywood

A bill has passed out in West Hollywood, California, that has set the new minimum wage in the area to a rate of $17.64 per hour.

In a vote that ended up being unanimous by the city council, the minimum wage is slated to incrementally go up with the state’s wage floor as a whole.

As reported by The Guardian:

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The wage hike will start taking affect in January for some workers and will gradually increase every six months until July 2023, eventually surpassing California’s minimum wage, which is set to reach $15 by 2022 for workplaces with more than 25 employees. California has the highest minimum wage of any state.

Some local business owners spoke against the increase, arguing that businesses were still struggling to recover from the pandemic and that the pay raise would push companies out of the city, while restaurant owners said their workers were already highly compensated.

“Fewer than 10% of our jobs pay enough to live in the city,” stated John D’Amico, a member of the city council, in an interview with the outlet. “I believe we are now righting the founding wrong of this city. Keeping West Hollywood workers in a position where they cannot be our neighbors and worse, they have to learn how to live without a reliable income, this has to finally no longer be acceptable.”

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 incident and following the lockdown-induced recession, many economic stimulus proposals from the federal level have included changes to the minimum wage.

Going alongside the Democrats efforts to shove a wage increase into the American Rescue Plan, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is the current chair of the Senate Budget Committee, put forth the suggestion that “an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour.”

A Republican, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), put forth a similar increase for the minimum wage aimed at companies that pull in over $1 billion in revenue: “Mega-corporations can afford to pay their workers $15 an hour, and it’s long past time they do so, but this should not come at the expense of small businesses already struggling to make it.”

All the while, bigger companies are looking into how to utilize newer technology that would reduce their reliance on the usage of paid staff. This has led to Amazon opening a store that utilizes “cashierless checkout technology,” and also to a new partnership between IBM and McDonald’s to create and install automated drive-thrus in the wake of successful tests being run at its restaurants over in the Chicago area.

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