Chicago raises minimum wage to $13 on snap vote

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Chicago has voted to increase its minimum wage to $13 an hour, from $8.25.

It's the 11th U.S. city to increase its minimum wage this year, and the largest.

“The city’s $13 increase will give 1 in 4 working Chicagoans a badly needed raise that they’ll spend at local businesses," said Paul Sonn, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project.


The measure had been proposed in July by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But a snap election was called this week after the Illinois legislature began considering a bill that would block cities from setting their wage at a level higher than the state's as it considers a new $10 minimum wage. Emanuel is also up for reelection in February.

The law can be counted as the latest success in the two-year-old "Fight for $15" campaign for better working conditions — though some Chicago aldermen opposed the bill on grounds that $13 an hour was inadequate. Chicago has the highest cost of living in the Midwest.


Still, this has been the most successful year for the union-backed campaign, which has convinced thousands of service workers to protest for higher pay, more consistent schedules, and to open the way for union representation. Workers who makes less than $15 now comprise one-fifth of U.S. employment.

More "Fight for 15" protests are scheduled for Thursday in 160 cities that will see striking fast-food workers to be joined by airport, and home care workers.

Here's the list of cities that have increased their minimum wages this year — and those considering such measures.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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