On our Way to Stamping Out Poverty Wages in L.A. County

We did it! On the heels of fighting our way to winning a minimum wage increase in the City of Los Angeles, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors just approved a set a motions that puts unincorporated L.A. County on track to reach a $15/hr. minimum wage by 2020 and to stamp out wage-theft.

Raising the minimum wage in unincorporated L.A. County provides a game-changing opportunity for working families struggling to make ends meet, as well as a vantage point for our L.A. County members currently bargaining to raise up all of L.A. County. Over the last 3 years, SEIU Local 721 has anchored the fight by L.A. Fast Food Workers to increase the minimum wage throughout the Greater L.A. Region.

The victory at L.A. County marks another major triumph in SEIU Local 721’s goal to raise the wage floor for all working families. In addition to the wage hike in unincorporated L.A. County, the Board of Supervisors also passed a motion extending to contractors who provide services for the county. New Prop. A and cafeteria service agreements will include a minimum wage of at least $15/hr. The standard will also apply to current proposition A and cafeteria service agreements.

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“The County should not be complicit in perpetuating poverty wages by doing business with contractors who want to pay less than $15 an hour,” said L.A. County Social Worker and SEIU Local 721 Treasurer David Green at the vote hearing. “L.A. County must set the bar for a just wage.”

L.A. County and L.A. City now encompass the largest jurisdictions in the United States to place the minimum wage on track to reach $15 an hour–a feat once deemed a pipe dream. The L.A. region is well on its way to becoming a poverty-wage free zone through the combination of wage hikes and enforcing wage theft violations. A dollar worked will really mean a dollar earned.

“From those working in our fast food restaurants to the men and women who provide services at our County’s libraries, nobody in this county should be living in poverty when they are employed,” said SEIU Local 721 Vice President Linda Dent.

As SEIU 721 continues to negotiate a contract for L.A. County members, County workers are now in a great position to leverage the best contract to alleviate the chronic understaffing and to make the County invest in the men and women who keep the County running.  When we raise the wage floor throughout Greater L.A., we all win!


Categories: Los Angeles County