Activists across the state marched, rallied and protested yesterday in demand of a $15 minimum wage for all workers. The demonstrations were part of an effort coordinated by Working Washington in the “Fight for $15” campaign.
While advocates of increasing the minimum wage claim it is a win-win for employers (because people will have more money to spend) and employees (who will earn a higher wage), the reality is much different.
Increasing the minimum wage comes with undeniable trade-offs.
In the midst of last year’s raging debate over whether Seattle should increase the minimum wage to $15, a study by the University of Washington (UW) weighed in, finding 24% of Seattle workers would benefit from the wage hike. Add in predictions of wage compression, whereby employers increase the wages of workers already making more than $15 in order to maintain the pay-scale hierarchy, and the UW study said one third of the city’s workers would benefit.
Envision Spokane, a labor and enviro backed group, has filed an initiative to amend the City of Spokane’s charter to include a “Worker Bill of Rights.” If approved by voters in November, the measure would impose a sweeping set of new labor mandates on Spokane employers.