Aldermen Proposing To Raise City Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

CHICAGO (CBS) — Should the city of Chicago increase the minimum wage? On Wednesday, a group of aldermen plan to propose an ordinance eventually raising it to $15-an-hour.

But as CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, not everybody’s happy about it.

The Chicago voices calling for the raise have been loud, and at City Hall they’ve been listening. On Wednesday, a group of alderman will propose actions.

“I was speaking a few months ago with a McDonald’s worker. She’s worked at McDonald’s many years, has smaller children, and I almost cried with her. She can’t afford to buy McDonald’s for her children where she works,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th).

Sawyer and other members of the City Council are proposing to increase the current $8.25 minimum wage to $15-an-hour in stages over a period of four years. Larger companies will have to pay the $15 an hour within 15 months after it’s approved.

“I’m concerned about the small business, but I think once we explain the benefits overall, I believe they’ll come on board,” Sawyer said.

At Chef Luciano’s restaurant in the South Loop, where entry-level staff members are paid minimum wage, co-owner Rocky Gupta is not yet ready to come on board.

“You’ll probably have to cut back on the staff and potentially raise prices to the consumer. In the restaurant business, our two biggest costs are food and labor,” said Gupta.

But supporters of raising the hourly rate to $15-an-hour say everybody will benefit, that workers will be pumping more money into the city economy and $43 million in new tax revenue as well. Still to come: Mayor Emanuel’s proposal.

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