The activists and workers fighting for a $15 minimum wage just secured their biggest victory to date. Starting in 2017, California will gradually begin raising the statewide minimum wage to $15, marking a huge victory for the populist workers’ movement that began four years ago.
According to the LA Times, Governor Jerry Brown has reached a deal with the state’s labor unions to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour through legislation passed by both the California Assembly and Senate, avoiding a ballot initiative that may have instituted a $15 an hour minimum wage sooner.
Under the deal reached by Gov. Brown, legislative leaders, and California’s labor unions, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 an hour on January 1, $11 an hour in January of 2018, then dollar-per-year increases would follow until 2022. The deal will affect approximately 118,000 California workers. Businesses that employ fewer than 25 workers will have an extra year to pay workers $15 an hour.
The deal comes on the heels of California’s two biggest cities — Los Angeles and San Francisco — each passing $15 minimum wage laws through the legislative process and the ballot box, respectively.