Emanuel Signs Order To Boost Minimum Wage For City Contractors

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has signed an executive order requiring city contractors and their subcontractors to pay a minimum wage of at least $13 an hour.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the order is largely symbolic, as most city contractors already were required to pay a so-called “living wage” of $11.93 an hour, rather than the Illinois minimum wage of $8.25.

However, some city contractors are not covered by the “living wage” requirement, and Emanuel stressed he wants to gradually increase the minimum wage for all workers in Chicago — in both the public and private sectors — to $13 an hour.

“It’s a down payment towards a goal that would impact 400,000 individuals in the city of Chicago,” the mayor said. “This is the first 1,000.”

Emanuel said a $13 an hour minimum wage would “set a standard that if you work, you do not raise a child in poverty.”

The mayor’s office said the executive order would apply to city contracts advertised after Oct. 1, and will affect about 1,000 contracted employees.

Affected employees would include landscapers, maintenance workers, security guards, concessionaires, and in custodians.

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