The labor protest movement that fast-food workers started in New York City nearly four years ago is finally paying off. According to the New York Times, Governor Cuomo announced that a panel he appointed is recommending a gradual increase in minimum wages for fast-food workers to $15 an hour by 2018. All that recommendation needs now is an order from the state’s acting commissioner of labor.
Here’s the formal announcement from the Governor:
Wages will rise faster in NYC than elsewhere in the state because the cost of living is so much higher.
Here’s a breakdown of how the wage increase will gradually be phased in:
- By December 31st, NYC minimum wage for fast food workers will rise to $10.50. In the rest of the state, it will be $9.75.
- NYC minimum wage for fast food workers will then rise annually by $1.50 for the next 3 years, reaching $15 by the end of 2018.
- Meanwhile, minimum wage for fast food workers elsewhere in New York state will rise by smaller amounts each year, taking until July 1, 2021 to reach $15.
- This mandate will not apply to small businesses. It only applies to workers in fast food restaurants that are part of chains with 30 or more locations.
Irene Tung, a policy researcher for the National Employment Law Project, told the NYT:
Some people are overjoyed about the decision
While others are critical of the move
And these folks are taking a more philosophical view
As Business Insider found last year, New York fast-food workers at the current minimum wage are worse off than all other minimum wage workers in the country. There’s a big gap between minimum wage and a living wage, which is the actual hard dollar value needed to make a living in any given area.
BI found that NY fast-food workers made nearly $4,750 per year below the amount they actually needed to afford living in NY. No matter your personal feelings on the subject, this wage increase is a huge deal for those workers.
[via the New York Times]