Last week, the City of Long Beach voted to revert its local minimum wage timeline to the State's less ambitious schedule, meaning the city will not guarantee $15/hr until 2022. On the other hand, the State's 160-hour maximum for trainee/learner's wages (85% of minimum wage) will replace the 480-hour stretch where new Long Beach workers would have taken reduced pay.
We are not thrilled with the result of the minimum wage timeline, but we are encouraged with the results of the wage enforcement decision. Council set aside an estimated $700,000 that will go toward funding city staff and investigators, as well as contracts with community organizations to do outreach and education for vulnerable workers. This is the direct result of the persistent work of the Long Beach Wage Theft Coalition, workers, faith leaders and community members. Many of the Council-members referenced the conversations and stories they've heard from truck drivers, young workers, and warehouse workers and community as supporting arguments for the need of local enforcement.
We're so thankful for all of the faith leaders that came out last night to support, speak, and show encouragement. Several of us were there for 6 hours! A special thanks also to all those who couldn't be there, but who have made a commitment to justice by offering prayers and words of encouragement during this fight.
For more details on the policy and the ongoing fight, read the LB Post article here.