Workers at chain stores and other large businesses would see a $15-an-hour minimum wage under state legislation introduced yesterday.
State and local Democrats gathered on the steps in front of City Hall to unveil The Fair Wage Act, an effort spearheaded by State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) to create a special minimum wage.
"New York's minimum wage does not go far enough to keep families out of poverty," Squadron said in a statement. "Large chains, from McDonalds to 7-Eleven, have higher profits and lower costs, yet they still pay their workers poverty wages."
If it passes in Albany, the legislation would cover chains wih at least 11 nationwide locations -- fast food restaurants, for example -- businesses with revenues of at least $50 million a year and transportation-related companies like airport contractors.
Squadron was joined yesterday by Assemb. Nily Rozic (D-Queens), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, state senators, and activists from New York Communities for Change, the Working Families Party, and Make the Road New York.
The bill, indexed to inflation, comes as housing costs in New York City continue to skyrocket.
"No one can survive on $8 an hour," said Gabriel Gallucci, a lobbyist for New York Communities for Change. "The Fair Wages Act is a great opportunity to ensure our workers are not exploited by big box and chain stores and are paid a living wage."