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Raising Chicago's Minimum Wage: Residents to Weigh In at Kennedy-King

By Wendell Hutson | June 6, 2014 5:27am
 About 100 Walmart employees protested Nov. 13, 2013, on the South Side for higher wages.
About 100 Walmart employees protested Nov. 13, 2013, on the South Side for higher wages.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

ENGLEWOOD —Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he is not waiting to see what state lawmakers do about increasing the minimum wage, and has created a task force last month to get people in the city talking about it. 

The Minimum Wage Working Group will hold its first public hearing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St.

Ald. Will Burns (4th), co-chair of the task force, said a total of five public hearings will be before they submit a final report to the mayor in July. Dates for future meetings will be posted here and people can weigh in online as well.

“We look forward to hearing from residents, business owners, and other stakeholders over the coming month as we consider this important issue," said Burns.

The City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus, whose members include Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th) and Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), said it plans to push for a $15 an hour minimum wage for Chicago employees.

On Wednesday, union organizers said hundreds of Walmart employees in seven cities, including employees at a Walmart store in West Chatham, participated in a one-day strike to advocate for a minimum wage increase. The Seattle City Council recently passed an ordinance to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour from $9.32.

President Barack Obama has said he supports increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25.


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