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On Wednesday, the state of New York received much praise after their wage board approved a $15 hourly minimum wage for the state’s approximately 200,000 fast-food workers, making it the first state-wide industry specific raise in history.
Now, with gains in the right direction, labor activists from the ‘Fight for $15’ movement are pushing to raise pay for low-wage retail workers across the nation. While a handful of retail companies have voluntarily raised employee pay including Gap, Ikea and Walmart, their pay increases to $10, $10.76 and $9 per hour, respectively, still fall short of the $15 all New York fast-food workers will soon receive.
After Wednesday’s decision, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that he supports the fight for a nationwide $15 minimum wage pay boost for all workers.
“If it’s right in New York, it’s right in California, it’s right in Michigan, and it’s right in Florida,” he said.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles became one of the largest city to raise their minimum wage pay. Under its newly passed bill, the city will increase its pay to $15 an hour by 2020, in an effort to close the gap between its low-wage workers and the city’s high cost of living. Other cities including Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago, have also taken the leap to raise their minimum wage pay.