This is what happens when politicians see the writing on the wall.
Just three days on the job, Seattle's new mayor Ed Murray, announced plans to raise the minimum wage for city workers.Getting a $15/hr minimum wage for all of Seattle is going to take longer, but it is going to happen or be put to the voters.
"Today I will issue an executive order directing my department heads to develop a comprehensive strategy to implementing a $15 minimum wage in the City of Seattle for city employees," Murray said in a news conference Friday morning.
Murray said his personnel director and budget director will lead the effort and explore options to make the order retroactive to the start of 2014. Murray has said that he'll give his team four months to raise the wage.
Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant rode the minimum wage issue to victory in Seattle...Sawant has agreed to serve on a task force of business and labor leaders that will take four months to come up with a plan on how to raise the entire city's minimum wage. Of course there is no mystery on how to wage the minimum wage: the City Council passes an ordinance saying the minimum wage is $15/hr, with adjustments for inflation annually, effective in some small number of months into the future. Like, duh.
... a ballot measure is possible because Sawant says she'll start gathering signatures if city leaders don't quickly pass a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Sawant understands that the powers-that-be hope that somehow the issue will be derailed...
But big business will not let this pass without a fight. They will mobilize their resources to derail, delay, and dilute efforts to end the poverty wages that are the source of their profits....but that seems unlikely.
"My commitment is unwavering and unshakable on getting $15 an hour and making progress on making Seattle an affordable city," Sawant said last month.She has already begun organizing a grassroots campaign, even before she takes her seat on January 6th, to make sure the politicians can't make the issue vanish into the mist.
The only way we can counter the power of Corporate America is by building a massive grassroots campaign with local neighborhood and campus groups, town hall meetings, mass rallies, and strikes.And the intent is to push for a nationwide movement.
Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant, along with a growing list of workers, unions, and activists, have come together to form 15 Now to organize this movement.
15 Now is currently centered in Seattle - where the Fight for 15 has the best immediate prospects - but we aim to build a nationwide movement...It's beyond time the CEO's and the one percent owners of corporations that pay so little their employees are forced to rely on government (that is we the people) subsidies to stay fed, housed and healthy, transfer just a bit of their wealth back to the ninety-nine percent. And it looks like it's going to happen.
We will need real resources to organize the struggle and counter the lies and propaganda of the richest 1%. We are relying on you - workers, young people, and activists. To lay the basis for a serious campaign, we are launching an appeal for 1,000 people to donate $15/month. Sign up here to make a monthly donation or one-time donation, and add your name to the list of people supporting 15 Now.