It’s just a proposal for now, but it could prove to be a stepping-stone towards a legislative milestone.
On Thursday, the Mayor of Seattle Ed Murray announced that his plan for a $15 minimum wage enjoyed huge support from the city's lawmakers, including his advisory board, the business community and leaders of the labor committees.
The proposition coincided with Seattle's 14th annual May Day march for workers and immigrant rights held in Washington as well as several other parts of the country.
According to Murray’s scheme, the city's minimum wage would gradually increase from $9.32 to $15 over the course of three to seven years.
It will make Seattle the only city with the highest standard for salaries and income in the United States, which offers the lowest minimum wage compared to other wealthy nations of the world, according to a report released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“Once again Seattle has chosen to collaborate and Seattle workers are going to get a raise,” Murray said at a news conference, according to the Seattle Times.
Large businesses with more than 500 employees that don't provide workers tips or medical coverage will have to reach the new $15 minimum by 2017. However, if they sponsor health insurance, they'll be given another year to reach $15.
Businesses with less than 500 workers will have to catch up to $15 until either 2019 or 2021, depending on their employee benefits.
Although many analysts and proponents believe the proposal, if it takes effect, could decrease the city’s poverty rate, business owners and Republican lawmakers oppose it, arguing it would force to cut hours for workers, raise consumer prices or both.
While the decision on Murray’s recommendations is pending, have a look at what happened during the May Day protests that were held in Seattle and several other cities of the nation.
Police detain a man during an anti-capitalist demonstration in Seattle, Washington.
A demonstrator holds up a sign protesting the Obama administration's use of drones during May Day demonstrations in New York
A demonstrator, who accidentally tripped and fell, receives help from a friend during Seattle's 14th annual May Day march for workers and immigrant rights, in Seattle, Washington
Protesters add garbage, signs, and other fuel to a fire in the middle of an intersection during an anti-capitalist demonstration
A woman picks up a sign during Seattle's 14th annual May Day march for workers and immigrant rights
Buttons displaying different slogans are displayed on a table during May Day demonstrations in New York
Princess Bustos carries a placard as she joined more than one thousand protesters at a May Day demonstration in Oakland, California