LA County votes to increase Minimum wage to $15/hr — Further Shaming Irvine’s Living Wage Cut

Minimum Wage Kitty

Hot off the press, the Los Angeles County Supervisors today voted to increase the minimum wage in LA County to $15 per hour by 2020 — further evidence that Irvine’s recent repeal of the city’s once leading Living Wage Ordinance is an embarrassment to city leaders.

Here are the details from the LA Times:

“The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, leaders of the nation’s largest local government, voted Tuesday to raise the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 over the next few years in county unincorporated areas.

The higher wage would apply to county workers but also those laboring in county-controlled unincorporated areas. The action follows an identical increase adopted by the city of Los Angeles in June.

The vote was 3-2 to approve the wage for workers in unincorporated areas of the county, with Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Don Knabe casting the opposing ballots. They contended that a higher wage would put too much pressure on businesses.”

But in raising the wage for county government workers, Knabe joined Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis in voting in favor of the increase.

The widely anticipated votes could put the greater Los Angeles area on track to have a $15-an-hour regional wage — or leave workers facing a patchwork system in which some of the 87 independent cities in the county move to a higher wage while others hold out.”

There’s an old canard that increases in minimum wage will cost jobs — but historically, that’s never been the case.  Pay workers more, especially workers at the lower end of the payscale, and they spend that extra money on durable goods and items for the family that further stimulates the county.

The move by LA County and a recent National Public Radio news story on Irvine’s repeal of a nearly 8 year old Living Wage Ordinance is further evidence that the Irvine City Council is moving backwards and not forward.  The move by LA County means ,is also evidence that labor is a commodity.  Sure, there are people in OC who will work for the state’s minimum wage but if minimum wage is a few dollars more, the best of that labor force will seek employment to the North.  So Irvine will pay less for services and get lesser quality work from those the city council screwed over.

Over at OC Weekly, writer Gabriel San Roman is pushing an idea that Anaheim should pass a Living Wage Ordinance to $15 that every employer in the city would have to honor regardless of the deal struck between the city and Disneyland.  I’m not sure $15 is enough and wouldn’t mind seeing $18 and hour or $20 an hour, which would certainly give more buying power to Anaheim residents and reduce the city’s Childhood Poverty rates.

I don’t believe that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait could support that and still maintain a positive relationship with Orange County’s Lincoln Club.  James Vanderbilt, also a Republican, would likely not support it either.  It’s hard to see if any proposal to pass a Living Wage law could garner at least one vote on the council.

  8 comments for “LA County votes to increase Minimum wage to $15/hr — Further Shaming Irvine’s Living Wage Cut

  1. Gustavo Arellano
    July 21, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    What about your liberal lion, Jordan Brandman? Okay: I’ll stop laughing now…

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

      You’re laughing? You must be writing about baseball again. That’s always funny to read.

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I have a call scheduled with Jordan soon; I’m happy to ask him that. But perhaps you could pick up the phone and ask all five council members how they’d vote. Aren’t you a professional journalist?

  2. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    You never thought of Santa Ana or Stanton or La Habra which are not control by Republicans, instead of 15 I bet it would be more like the 11.50 by San Diego since they don’t want to many low skilled workers to lose jobs. Its hard to predict the outcome in La. La has a lot of immirgrant workers that could gain and others lose in rising it to 15 per hour. I read an article where the lower paid garment industry in LA might leave for OC or out of state. Seattle has less immigrants and a more educated workforce, so less workers as adults at minium.

  3. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Over at OC Weekly, writer Gabriel San Roman is pushing an idea that Anaheim should pass a Living Wage Ordinance to $15 that every employer in the city would have to honor regardless of the deal struck between the city and Disneyland. I’m not sure $15 is enough and wouldn’t mind seeing $18 and hour or $20 an hour, which would certainly give more buying power to Anaheim residents and reduce the city’s Childhood Poverty rates.
    Actually, Anaheim is basically cheaper than Los Angeles in rent except for some places like South Central, so LA needs 22 per hour, really.

  4. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 23, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Another interesting idea i’m working on rent is cheaper in Mexico but wages higher in the uS. It takes 2 hours to get from TJ to Anaheim or Los Angles. If the high speed rail or another fast transportation was available workers in Anaheim or LA could lived near Tj but traveler to work in Anaheim or LA. This solves the anti-illegal immirgation feeling among Republicans since they live in another country. In this system work permits could be issue for 5 years and renewed. Also, the US- and Mexico could work together to increase infrastructure in some of Baja California or built some more schools on the Mexican side that teach both English and Spanish. This is really a fantasy but very interesting idea.

  5. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 24, 2015 at 6:07 am

    What if Anahiem gets better jobs and La goes more to Leisure and Hospitality. There is an article by the Wall Street Journal that shows low skilled manufacturing may leave La and head for other cities in La county or Orange County and LA ends up with more high ended hotels and Restaurants. Also, Roman never thinks that many of Anaheim’s service population may eventaully moved to Los Angeles since its wages are higher for service jobs. If one gets the experience as a maid or a cook in Anaheim or Santa Ana they then go moved to LA and to moved to LA one doesn’t even need a car since you can take an express bus to LA or the Greyhound bus. Also, if workers moved to LA for higher wages it could caused a labor shortage in Anahiem and Santa Ana which means the wages for service jobs rise somewhat.

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