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minimum wage

The effort to raise Oregon's minimum wage is getting a financial boost from the largest state workers union. SEIU local 503 has formed a political action committee to push for a hike in the state's base pay.

There’s a surprise newcomer to the campaign for a higher minimum wage in Washington. It’s the state’s restaurant association.

Tacoma Voters Favor $12 Minimum Wage

Nov 4, 2015
File photo of Tacoma Dome and Union Station in Tacoma, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Sounder Bruce (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1kbDHGf

David Hyde talks to Tacoma News Tribune reporter Kate Martin about election results in Tacoma, including an increase to the minimum wage and a measure to give the mayor more executive power. 

tip restaurant money
Flickr Photo/Eric Heath (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1N9PRX1

Chef Renee Erickson says she was trying to close pay gaps among her employees when she eliminated tipping at her Seattle restaurants.

But she told KUOW’s David Hyde that the change also might help battle another problem in restaurants: sexism.

Ross Reynolds talks with University of California Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti, author of “The New Geography of Jobs,” about how the Seattle area can avoid the growing pains of a booming economy like unaffordable housing and traffic gridlock.

Moretti says improved mass transit it a key because it helps low income people get to jobs. Moretti also says Seattle’s $15 minimum wage will help mitigate the higher prices that come with growth, but he’s confident that growth will eventually lead to higher wages for everyone too.

 

David Hyde spoke with News Tribune reporter Kathleen Cooper about two proposals to hike the minimum wage in Tacoma that are on the November ballot.  

Oregon voters could see competing minimum-wage initiatives on their 2016 ballot. A group that favors a hike to $13.50 per hour kicked off their signature gathering campaign Monday.

A wave of wage increases in cities across the country, as well as at several major businesses, continued on Wednesday.

Seattle's Minimum Wage Law Gets New Steward

Jun 22, 2015

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Dylan Orr, the new director of Seattle's Office of Labor Standards, about his experience working for the U.S. Department of Labor and how he'll bring what he learned back to his hometown.

Alberta Eyes $15 Minimum Wage

Jun 8, 2015

Marcie Sillman speaks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about a movement to raise the minimum wage in the province of Alberta to $15 an hour.

The Solar Pioneer protest barge in Elliot Bay with the Shell oil drilling rig in the background.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans, Seattle’s waterfront tunnel, the $15 minimum wage movement – are they all unstoppable? And if Washington state’s drought is unstoppableon the east side of the mountains and we have plenty of water on the west side, should you take as long a shower as you want?

Bill Radke debates the week’s news with LiveWire’s Luke Burbank, Republican Chris Vance and political blogger Erica C. Barnett.

Los Angeles
Flickr Photo/Ron Reiring (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with David Rolf of Service Employee's International Union 775 about Los Angeles' move to become the latest and largest American city to bump its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to raise the hourly minimum wage in the second-largest U.S. city from $9 to $15 by 2020 — a move that would cover as many as 800,000 people.

The Los Angeles Times has more on the vote:

As Northwest states debate whether to raise the minimum wage as high as $15 per hour, some adults with developmental disabilities continue to be paid as little as 25 cents per hour.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

So here’s a math problem for you. What do you do if you run a low-margin, labor-intensive business and your labor costs are about to go up 60 percent?

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman speaks with Dan Price, founder and CEO of Seattle-based credit card payment processing firm Gravity Payments. He recently raised his company's minimum wage to $70,000 a year for all employees.

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A Seattle CEO cuts his own pay so he can double his employees’ salaries – is this a new model for capitalism? Should Washington state tax the megarich? Does Woodland Park Zoo deserve a boycott?

Bill Radke hosts our weekly news debate with panelists C.R. Douglas of KCPQ13, former state Senate Majority Leader Bill Finkbeiner and Seattlish blogger Hanna Brooks Olsen.

Protesters rally as part of the National Day of Action for Higher Wages on Capitol Hill, Seattle, on April 15, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Todd Mundt

Unions and low-wage workers held rallies around the state Wednesday to push for higher wages.

Twenty-one protesters, including seven Seattle University faculty members, were arrested after occupying an intersection near the university, which has blocked adjunct faculty members' efforts to unionize.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s new minimum wage law went into effect April 1, as did a law meant to ensure workers get paid overtime when they’ve earned it. But not everyone’s complying.

So what’s the city doing to enforce the new laws? 

Restaurant check
Flickr Photo/Quinn Dombrowski (CC-BY-NC-ND)

With Seattle’s minimum wage rising, do you still need to tip? Who gains from Expedia’s move to Seattle? And in a Seattle road rage incident caught on tape, are you more like the driver or the cyclist?

Bill Radke debates the week’s news with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Live Wire’s Luke Burbank, and Civic Cocktail’s Joni Balter.

Workers at Ivar's Salmon House on Lake Union will be getting a raise to $15 an hour before Seattle raises the minimum wage that high.
Flickr Photo/Peter Stevens (CC BY 2.0)

KUOW's Marcie Sillman talks with Bob Donegan, president and CEO of Ivar's, about why the popular Seattle fish and chips chain will give employees an immediate raise to $15 an hour, increase prices by about 20 percent and do away with tipping at its Lake Union restaurant.

Angie Garcia, 20, with her mom and 4-month-old daughter. Garcia works at McDonald's in Ballard, making $9.60 an hour. The new minimum wage "is going to change everything," she says.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Angie Garcia, a single mom who works at the McDonald's in Ballard, has planned how she’s going to spend the extra money she makes after the minimum wage increases to $11 an hour on Wednesday.

“It’s going to change everything. Because I can go back to school, I can start my college, so that is really big for me, like a really, really big help,” Garcia, 20, said. She currently earns $9.60 an hour.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle is known for its endless public process, so how did it become a city where $15 went from a campaign slogan to law in a matter of months?

The law kicks in on Wednesday, when the minimum wage in Seattle rises to $11 an hour. It’s the first phase of several years of planned increases eventually leading to a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  

Christina Rodriguez, 25, was one of dozens of fast food workers who walked off the job during fast food in Seattle strikes in 2013.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with political consultants Sandeep Kaushik and Chris Vance about whether voters should ultimately decide whether to raise Washington state's minimum wage.

University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1jp5e6Q

Ross Reynolds talks with University of Washington spokesperson Norm Arkans about Seattle's $15 minimum wage and why the UW is not ready to commit to it. 

Editor’s note: KUOW is a self-sustaining service of the University of Washington. Arkans is an ex-officio member of the Puget Sound Public Radio Board of Directors. 

Eighteen-year-old Alicia Donaldson works at a busy McDonald's in East Oakland. Her job is more complicated than anyone might think.

"When you do the grill and the chicken by yourself, it's not easy," she admits. "You have to put down the meat on the grill, and then put chicken in the grease. People get burned a lot."

That's a lot of pain for only $9 an hour. Today it's still hard work, but now Alicia is making $12.25 instead.

"When I worked 56 hours my check was about $480," she remembers.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A lawsuit against Seattle’s new $15 an hour minimum wage has failed its first test in court.

Lawyers for the International Franchise Association (IFA) and five local franchisees have sued the city, arguing the law discriminates against franchise businesses.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Researchers from the University of Washington and the state are hoping cold, hard data can help settle the heated debate over the costs and benefits of raising the minimum wage in Seattle.

This Week's News Calls For New Leadership

Mar 13, 2015
File Photo: Kathleen O'Toole speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, May 19, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Is a shakeup of the Seattle Police Department’s top ranks a sign of progress? Should a franchise be considered big business when it comes to Seattle's $15 minimum wage law? And is there hope for Seahawks fans soaked by Super Bowl ticket scammers?

Luke Burbank steps in for KUOW's Bill Radke to make sense of those stories and more of the week's news with Seattle Channel's Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Eli Sanders of The Stranger.

Workers and labor activists demonstrate outside the U.S. District Courthouse in support of the city's $15 an hour minimum wage
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Lawyers for the International Franchise Association and five local franchisees were in court Tuesday asking that portions of Seattle’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage law be barred from taking effect.

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