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On a 44-5 vote, the City Council in Chicago this week approved a citywide measure that increases the local minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019, delivering a badly needed raise to more than 25% of Chicago’s workforce. Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to enact a higher local minimum wage than either the state or federal minimum, and the eleventh city to do so this year.

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Fast Food Strikes Spread to More Cities as Fight for $15 is Joined by Workers in Other Industries

One-day strikes led by fast food workers spread to more than 190 cities in the U.S. yesterday, and the protests were joined in many places by workers in other industries – all calling for a $15 wage floor and union rights. In the two years since fast food workers first launched the Fight for $15 the protests against poverty-level wages have expanded into mass actions across the country, now including home health care workers, airport and baggage handlers, retail, convenience and dollar store workers. Tsedeye Gebreselassie, staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rundown along with McDonald’s worker Brittney Berry talking about the latest protests.

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Push is On in More Cities to Raise Local Minimum Wages

On the heels of significant local ballot victories which raised the minimum wage in San Francisco and Oakland, California, more cities across the U.S. are taking up measures to boost local minimum wages.

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Victory! Voters Raise the Minimum Wage in Four States and Two Major Cities

Ballot measures to raise the minimum wage in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, San Francisco and Oakland, California, swept to victory on Election Day 2014 yesterday by substantial margins. An estimated 609,000 low-wage workers will see their hourly pay rise next year as a result.

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On Election Day, Big Winner Could Be Minimum Wage Hikes

Ballot measures to raise state or local minimum wage rates could be big winners on Election Day, November 4. In Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota voters will cast ballots on binding statewide initiatives to raise their state minimum wages. Illinois voters will weigh in on a ballot question asking whether the legislature should raise that state’s minimum wage. Voters in San Francisco and Oakland, California, will cast ballots on raising citywide minimum wages – to $15 by 2018 and to $12.25 by 2015 respectively. And Wisconsin voters in nine counties and four cities will decide non-binding ballot initiatives to raise the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Despite polls showing overwhelming support nationally for raising the federal minimum wage from its current poverty-level $7.25 per hour to at least $10.10, efforts to do so this year were blocked in Congress. That’s one reason that grassroots efforts to raise minimum wages have caught on through ballot initiatives at the state and local levels.

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NJ Governor Christie: “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly annoyed that the movement to raise the minimum wage is gaining ground across the country. In a speech this week to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce group in Washington, Christie said bluntly: “I gotta tell you the truth: I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am.”

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Public Pressure Building, Chicago Mayor Says City Will Enact Mininum Wage Increase “This Winter”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said this week that Chicago would enact a citywide minimum wage increase “this winter,” but told an editorial board he would not support a proposed $15 per hour rate. Under the mayor’s plan, the minimum wage would be raised in steps over the next four years to hit $13 per hour by June 1, 2018, and then be indexed to rise with inflation beginning in 2019.

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