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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:07 PM


State urged to let city set fast-food wages

Andrew J. Hawkins

Advocates for low-wage fast food workers will call on the state Legislature to bequeath wage-setting powers to the City Council at a rally planned at City Hall Thursday afternoon.

Under pressure from unions, progressive groups and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour over the next three years from the current rate of $7.25. But employees at fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's and Burger King should be earning more than that, and the city should have the power to set those wages, advocates plan to argue Thursday.

"Nine dollars an hour doesn't cut it in New York City," said one source with knowledge of the announcement. "And the City Council is sympathetic to that. So we're asking the Legislature to give the council the right to do this."

Advocates are pushing for fast food workers to earn $15 an hour and be able to unionize without interference, demands sure to be strongly opposed by the business community. Advocates plan to rally at City Hall in advance of a 1 p.m. hearing of the council's Civil Service Committee on the matter. Last spring, hundreds of workers picketed several fast food establishments to demand higher wages.

Read more at http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130626/BLOGS04/130629904

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