But that’s how fast-food restaurant workers and their supporters celebrated Wednesday on a blocked-off street in Manhattan, as they watched a state panel recommended a $6.25 increase in their hourly wage, to $15.
“It’s a victory! We have been fighting, and today we have made history,” said Alvin Major, a 49-year-old cook at a KFC restaurant in Brooklyn. He said a $15 minimum wage would mean that he could stop relying on food stamps to feed his family of six.
“This will help me to take care of my kids, send them to the right school and put food on the table,” he said.
The bump to $15 an hour in New York, which would affect workers at chains with 30 or more stores nationally, would match recent increases in San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles. It would take effect over the next three years for the New York City, and over the next six years for the entire state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appointed the wage board that recommended the wage hike, called its proposal an important first step.
“We will not stop until we reach true economic justice and we raise the minimum wage for every worker in every job in this state,” he said.
The fast-food industry is one of New York’s biggest employers of low-wage workers.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Fast-Food Workers Cheer As $15 Minimum Wage Advances In New York State : The Salt : NPR.