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Demonstrators shout slogans and carry banners in SeaTac, Washington during a protest march from SeaTac to Seattle aimed at the fast food industry and raising the federal minimum wage and Seattle's minimum wage to $15 an hour December 5, 2013. Fast-food wo
A $15 minimum wage for Seattle has been in the works for a while, and now the City Council has made it official:
The unanimous vote of the nine-member Council, after months of discussion by a committee of business and labor leaders convened by Mayor Ed Murray, will give low-wage workers here — in incremental stages, with different tracks for different sizes of business — the highest big-city minimum in the nation.

“Even before the Great Recession a lot of us have started to have doubt and concern about the basic economic promise that underpins economic life in the United States,” said Sally J. Clark, a Council member. “Today Seattle answers that challenge,” she added. “We go into uncharted, unevaluated territory.”

Even socialist Council member Kshama Sawant voted for the increase despite having pushed to eliminate some exceptions and speed the path to $15; under the plan that passed Monday, $15 an hour won't be fully phased in until 2021, though workers at large employers that don't provide health coverage will get there by 2017. A strong majority of Seattle voters support the raise.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 09:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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