New York Fast-Food Workers Win Their Fight for $15

(COMMON DREAMS) Michelle Chen — Though New York’s lawmakers are infamous for their ethical failings, Albany just did the right thing for once: serve the state’s fast-food workers some long-overdue justice. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Wage Board, a three-member panel representing business, labor and the public, has for weeks heard gut-wrenching testimonies from workers and labor advocates at hearings across the state, and has now recommended raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15. That will impact some 180,000 people currently earning around $16,000 a year doing strenuous, dirty work in drive-throughs and greasy kitchens. Following the recommendation, the governor is expected to make final approval to set a new sector-specific wage—a unique mechanism that, similar to President Obama’s recent executive actions on federal worker wages, can bypass the legislature. The measure marks a major milestone for the Fight for 15 movement, which started in New York over two years ago when a small group of workers decided to walk off the job.

On Wednesday, the Wage Board has announced an incremental timetable to raise the wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 in New York City and 2021 statewide, for fast food outlets belonging to “chains that have 30 or more locations nationally.”

Source: New York Fast-Food Workers Win Their Fight for $15 | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community