As of January 1st, workers in eight cities in Santa Clara County are earning a minimum wage of at least $15/hour. In many cities, that means an extra $1.50/hour in workers’ pockets, a much-needed boost amidst our region’s sky-high living costs.
These increases are the result of years of organizing, both here locally and as part of the national Fight for $15 campaign led by fast food workers and the labor movement.
In 2012, labor, community and student groups in San Jose helped spark other cities to raise the wage when we won one of the first municipal minimum wage hikes. Then in 2014-16, we pushed cities across Santa Clara County to adopt an unprecedented regional plan to raise the wage to $15 by 2019 and index future increases to inflation.
Combined, these hikes to $15/hour mean that over 219,000 workers in the region are seeing their paychecks go up, making it a little easier to pay for housing, put food on the table, and take care of their families.
Thank you to everyone who helped make these big wins possible, whether by volunteering for Measure D in 2012, testifying at Council votes across the County, or standing firm when corporate interests tried unsuccessfully to reverse Mountain View and Sunnyvale’s leadership by freezing planned increases.
In 2019, we will keep fighting to make sure that workers can reap the benefits of these hard-won wage increases. We’re especially excited about new proposals to develop the County’s new Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, building innovative partnerships between our cities, the County and community and worker organizations to ensure workers earn a fair return for a hard day’s work.
Here’s to a year of bold organizing and big wins for working families!