September 27, 2013
Earlier this month, with support from UFCW locals across the Golden State, California’s legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.
This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law. This means that California will soon have the highest minimum wage in the country.
California’s minimum wage had been stuck at $8 since 2008.
Had California’s 1968 minimum wage been indexed to inflation, it would now be $11.08.
UFCW locals in California saw that an increase was long overdue so they stepped up and took action.
This isn’t the first time UFCW’s California locals have helped to secure a minimum wage increase. They were also recently involved with passing living wage ordinances in San Jose and Long Beach.
Securing a wage increase for the entire state of California was a much greater undertaking though and required a concerted effort by all of UFCW’s California locals.
To help give the bill the aggressive push it deserved, five lobby days were held at the State Capitol in Sacramento. This gave UFCW members the opportunity to appeal directly to State Senators, Assemblymembers, and the Governor about how raising the minimum wage would impact their lives.
As the minimum wage bill headed towards passage, UFCW members willed it over the finish line by making direct phone calls to uncommitted legislators.
At the signing of the bill, Governor Brown’s remarks made it clear he heard their message loud and clear.
“Our society is experiencing a growing gap between those at the top and those at the
Raising California’s minimum wage was a great effort and a great success. More than 2.3 million California workers will be affected by the wage increase. It will go a long ways towards ensuring hard work provides both dignity and a livable wage. bottom,” he said. “Our social fabric is being ripped apart. Today, we sew that fabric a little tighter together, as we raise the wages of those who labor at the bottom.”