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St. Louis and Kansas City Join the Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage

The news comes just as Los Angeles finalizes its landmark increase.
Demonstrators gather outside a McDonald's restaurant as part of the "Fight for $15" campaign.
Demonstrators gather outside a McDonald's restaurant as part of the "Fight for $15" campaign.AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

News on minimum-wage developments just keeps rolling in: Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council is set to finalize a measure that would increase the municipal minimum hourly wage to $15, up from the current $9. Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay is hoping to phase in that same $15 rate by 2020—more than double the $7.65 state minimum hourly wage residents are now paid. But crucial details remain uncertain in both cities.

L.A. council members gave their preliminary approval to the proposed increase last month, which was heralded as a watershed moment in the nationwide movement for a higher “living” wage. Though city representatives are expected to finalize the proposal’s language Wednesday, they’ll likely continue to debate on how the increase will affect certain types of employees—such as union members. Labor leaders have controversially asked for an exemption from the increase for workers with collective bargaining rights, so that they maintain the freedom to negotiate for things like retirement packages and health benefits.