California Workers Demand $30 an Hour Amid Wage Crisis

Less than 2 months after the minimum wage for fast-food industry workers was raised to $20 an hour (previously $16 an hour), California workers in other industries are wondering when they will be granted a piece of the pie. However, mass layoffs are calling into question the effectiveness of increasing wages so drastically.

Source: KLA

California is facing a crossroads in which their employees need more than $20 per hour to survive due to the high cost of living in the state. However, many businesses across industries cannot afford to pay their employees such rapidly increasing wages.

Source: Texas Monthly

The fast food industry was the first to see this dramatic shift and it resulted in mass layoffs. Many restaurants were forced to increase menu prices, upsetting consumers and further damaging the businesses. Many franchises such as Applebees, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and more were forced to shut down locations.

Source: KLA

Since the minimum wage increase in the fast food industry, other workers in various industries have started to question whether their wages will be increased as well. One such example is the hotel industry.

Source: Unite Here Local 11

In recent news that made headlines, L.A. City Council Members proposed a minimum wage increase to $30 an hour for both hotel and LAX workers. However, the increase would not happen in the immediate as the proposal aims to increase the minimum wage tot his amount by 2028. A similar bill was proposed in Long Beach as well.

Source: CAgovernor/ X

Critics of the bill believe businesses will not be able to survive such a large minimum wage increase, especially with the evidence of what has happened to the fast food industry. They claim the state’s wage crisis will tank businesses and encourage some to leave the state out of an inability to afford operations in the Golden State.

Source: Unite Here Local 11

However, there is a ton of support behind the bill from labor unions. The idea is that California is no longer livable on $20/hour and labor unions claim that with higher wages people will be happier doing their jobs and thus, more effective.

Source: CalMatters

However, some of those who oppose the bill are highly concerned that small businesses will suffer the most difficulties as many of them will not be able to afford to pay their employees these wages. Many of which are already struggling to pay fair wages and operate with such high income taxes.

Source: SDTU

In addition to airport and hotel workers, janitors have chimed in on the need for increased wages. Some janitors are seeking a $25/hour wage. Workers in each of these industries maintain that the cost of living in California is nowhere near covered by their current wages. The state is simply unaffordable for the average American.

Source: Reddit/ MT

Seeing as it is difficult to measure wages for different industries, some workers are in support of a $20 minimum across the board, instead of just for the fast-food industry.

Source: Quartz

More than 10,000 jobs were lost as a result of the fast food increase, so critics maintain that dramatic minimum wage hikes of any kind are dangerous for the state’s businesses. But it doesn’t mean that workers are not struggling to survive in one of the most expensive state’s in the country. Legislators will continue to find ways to implement livable wages without putting businesses as risk since California relies on its businesses to operate effectively.