Bangladesh Garment Workers Receive Minimum Wage Increase; Washington State City Gets $15 Minimum Wage; New York Elects First Democrat in 20 Years

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Bangladesh garment industry has drawn global attention for its unsafe working conditions causing hundreds of deaths in the last several months. To make matters worse, the garment industry has the lowest paid workers in the world.  On Monday, a government panel voted to raise monthly wages for garment workers to 5,300 taka, which is about $68-a-month minimum wage.

Bangladesh Takes Step to Increase Lowest Pay - New York Times

Garment workers in Bangladesh are paid poorly, even with a raise, but they aren't the only workers that made progress this week. In SeaTac, residents voted on a ballot measure that created a $15-an-hour minimum wage. The approval of SeaTac Proposition 1 sent a clear message that workers can't survive off even the highest minimum wage in the country —minimum wage in Washington State is $9.19 -an-hour. "This means that the people who put fuel in jets may actually be able to buy a ticket on one,” said David Rolf,  vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 

Washington city votes to raise minimum wage to $15 - CNN

On another good note, New York City's newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio is the first Democrat to be elected in 20 years. “Tackling inequality isn’t easy. It never has been, and it never will be,” de Blasio said at a victory speech. Among many challenges, Mayor de Blasio will have to negotiate several city labor contracts that are due for renewal.

Bill de Blasio wins mayor’s race in New York, ushering in new era of liberal governance - Washington Post

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