New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been coming on strong since taking office. As part of his vow to close the inequality gap he is taking on major corporations who take advantage of the city’s welfare system by paying outrageously low wages, reports The Huffington Post.
“If we’re subsidizing companies, we have every right to demand a living wage for the people they pay,” DeBlasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.
Low wage workers often turn to public assistance, like food stamps, to make ends meet. Last year, a report revealed that American taxpayers pay $3.8 billion annually to subsidize worker pay at the top 10 largest fast food chains in the country. Following the release of the report in October, de Blasio protested with New York City fast-food workers who were seeking higher wages.
Now the mayor is expected to introduce new legislation that will expand living wage protections in the city. De Blasio first introduced the proposal last summer while running for mayor. Under the proposal, wages for employees at companies receiving city subsidies, which include retail and fast-food restaurants, would be increased to $11.75 an hour with benefits.
De Blasio said he’ll give details of his plan to end income inequality during his upcoming State of the City address.
According to de Blasio, New York City should be allowed to set its own minimum wage aside from the state, and he said he will lobby Albany for this. The minimum wage in New York State was increased in 2014 from $7.25 hourly to $8 an hour. Anyone who has ever lived or visited NYC knows that’s too low to make a way in this expensive town.
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