Thu. Sep 21st, 2023
    Unions Flexing Their Power: Workers Across Industries Demand Higher Wages

    Unions representing employees in various industries, including healthcare and fast food, are becoming increasingly assertive as workers take to the picket lines to demand better working conditions, improved benefits, and higher wages. Recently, a deal was struck between labor unions and industries in California that will lead to a significant raise for almost 1 million fast food and healthcare workers.

    Under this new bill, the majority of fast food workers in California, a workforce of around 500,000 individuals, can expect to be paid at least $20 per hour starting next year. Additionally, a separate bill will gradually raise the salaries of healthcare workers to a minimum of $25 per hour over the next decade.

    It is important to note that the minimum wage for healthcare and fast food employees varies across the United States. In total, 15 states currently have laws in place that mandate their minimum wage to be equivalent to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while five states have no specific minimum wage laws.

    Washington, DC currently boasts the highest minimum wage of any state or territory in the US, at $16.50 per hour. Following closely behind are Washington state at $15.74 per hour and California at $15.50 per hour. Meanwhile, several other states also have minimum wages surpassing the federal level, such as Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

    It is worth noting that some states have no minimum wage laws or have minimum wages lower than the federal minimum wage. For instance, in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, employers are required to adhere to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. In Georgia and Wyoming, the state minimum wage is even lower at $5.15 per hour, although many employers in these states still adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act and pay the federal minimum wage.

    In certain states, minimum wage laws may also vary within the state itself. For instance, in Nevada, employers providing health benefits must pay a minimum wage of $9.50 per hour, while those not providing health benefits must pay at least $10.50 per hour.

    According to the Department of Labor, out of the 78.7 million workers aged 16 and older who receive hourly rates, approximately 1 million are paid at or below the federal minimum wage, making up 1.3% of all hourly paid workers.

    Sources:
    – Department of Labor
    – Unions representing fast food and healthcare workers.
    – “Minimum Wage by State: Everything You Need to Know” – Investopedia