Businesses Troubled Over Garcetti's Proposal To Raise The Minimu - Fox 2 News Headlines

Businesses Troubled Over Garcetti's Proposal To Raise The Minimum Wage

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) Los Angeles business leaders said today they were troubled by a proposal being shopped by Mayor Eric Garcetti that would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to as much as $13.50 an hour by 2017.

Garcetti has been shopping a plan to area business groups that would raise the minimum wage from the current $9 an hour by up to $1.50 annually for the next three years, after which the wage would be tied to the cost of living.

The plan -- which has been tentatively proposed as an increase to either $13.25 or $13.50 -- would be a "death blow for some businesses," according to Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.

"This is incredible that the mayor would even consider this in this economy," Waldman said. "We are losing businesses, which are moving out of the city in droves. This will only further activate the flight of businesses and jobs (from) Los Angeles."

Members of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce were also "unenthusiastic" when they were briefed about the proposal, chamber President Gary Toebben said.

The recently instituted statewide hike that raised the minimum wage to $9 and will increase it to $10 by 2016 "will have less of an impact" than a hike for an individual city, Toebben said.

A city wage increase "doesn't impact the other 6 million people in the counties, city and other regions around us," he said.

The two business groups represented by Toebben and Waldman have not taken official stances on a minimum wage proposal. VICA is expected to discuss it later this week, while Toebben said LA Area Chamber of Commerce leaders are collecting feedback from members.

The mayor's office would not confirm the specifics of the proposal, but mayoral aide Jeff Millman said officials have been meeting with business leaders, as well as "labor, community and faith leaders" to talk about "ways to help L.A. families and our economy thrive."

One of the mayor's goals is to "lift Angelenos out of poverty," he said. Connie Llanos, an aide for Councilman Curren Price, who has suggested that a citywide minimum wage hike be instituted, said "we're excited" to have a "conversation" about poverty in Los Angeles.

"We're ready for it," she said.

The council has been working on a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour at large hotels.

Councilman Mike Bonin, who spearheaded the effort, said if the mayor were to officially come out with a proposal, he would "embrace it, welcome it, champion it and do everything I could to get it passed by the council." "I'd also say if the mayor does propose it, I think it will get a lot of support among the City Council and it will have broad-based support from labor, business, faith, communities and political leaders," he said.

Bonin noted that he has heard support for raising the minimum wage from several people in the business community, adding that he has also been discussing "various strategies to reduce business taxes" with the mayor.

Businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad also threw his support behind raising the minimum wage citywide, saying "if Los Angeles is to maintain our standing as a world-class city, we need to increase the minimum wage."

"Raising the minimum wage would help lift people out of poverty and stimulate our local economy," he said.

Broad and fellow businessman Rick Caruso earlier this year voiced support for a gradual minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.

The $13.25 or $13.50 minimum wage plan also drew support from Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Her group is pushing for the $15 minimum wage for hotel workers.

"I'm very glad to hear the mayor would be interested in increasing the minimum wage," she said. "We've been working on increasing wages. We know that there has been a tremendous growth of poverty wage jobs."

A group of activists is also hoping to get an initiative on the ballot to raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers in the city.

From Sandra Endo:

Minimum wage workers could get a big pay raise, if Mayor Eric Garcetti gets his way.

On labor day, he's reportedly planning to announce a proposal to boost the city's minimum wage to $13.25 an hour, over the next three years. Under the plan, the current $9 dollar an hour wage would hike up to $10.25 immediately, then increase by a $1.50 the next two years.

The ultimate goal for the mayor is to get the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by 2020 or 2021. Of course, this proposal isn't sitting well with businesses who are worried about making payroll and possibly having to move jobs out of the city.

Labor unions on the other hand say the plan doesn't go far enough and wants the wage hike to increase to $15 dollars an hour immediately, but of course they're pleased with the effort to boost wages.

This proposal follows the lead of other city's like seattle and san diego which bumped up their miniumum wages, no official word from the mayor's office about the plan.

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