WASHINGTON – DC lawmakers approved the implementation of a $15 minimum wage. With the bill approving this signed on June 27, 2016 by District mayor Muriel Bowser, DC minimum-wage workers will rise to join some of the highest payed low-income workers in the nation.
This decision marks a symbolic win in the “Fight for $15” campaign, which took place in the District earlier this year as DC, ranked as #3 with the highest cost of living in America and #6 in the world by Expatistan, has a large population struggling to make it by with one job, or multiple ones. According to the National Employment Law Project, this change will not be put into effect just yet, however, but rather gradually progress until the minimum wage is raised to a total of $15 in the year 2020.
This change will cause an impact on thousands of low-income workers, as 83,000 janitors, dishwashers and others will be provided with raises. This change, however, will also implement a newfound pressure on the 40,000 other workers who are paid slightly above the new baseline, as well as business owners as they must make changes to their businesses in order to adapt to the budget changes.
When asked about the minimum wage, Lucila from Puerto Rico, stated that it was a “great change” as people with “increased experience are stuck on these low incomes. “However, with the implementation of this new law, it could mark the beginning of “progress in DC and new opportunities for its civilians.”
Additionally, with the “Fight for $15” campaign already becoming a national movement, does it have the potential to become even more than that? Lucila said that in many countries, like her own, which currently has a $4.25 minimum wage, progress and opportunity is something people are starting to ask for, starting with higher salaries.
DC mayor Muriel Bowser signs the bill approving the $15 minimum wage. June 27, 2016. Video by the DC Mayor’s Office.