New York to raise state minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers
Updated: 2015-07-23 09:16
People celebrate the passage of the minimum wage for fast-food workers by the New York State Fast Food Wage Board during a rally in New York July 22, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
NEW YORK - New York moved on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state.
The New York Wage Board voted unanimously for the increase, which would cover some 180,000 workers statewide and affect fast-food chains with 30 locations or more in the United States.
The three-member board was formed at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo in May after the state legislature turned down his proposals for minimum wage increases for most workers.
Its decision does not need legislative approval, but requires approval by the state labor commissioner, which is expected.
"This is going to help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, but this is going to do something else," said a beaming Cuomo at a jubilant rally in New York City celebrating the vote. "Because when New York acts, the rest of the states follow."
With the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour since 2009, labor and religious groups have pressed state and local governments to enact pay raises as their hopes dim for an increase by the Republican-controlled US Congress.
Last month, Los Angeles set its minimum wage to rise from $9 an hour to $15 by 2020, affecting some 600,000 workers.