ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day
91°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    91°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 94° L 79°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    80°
    Morning
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    92°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 93° L 78°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

News
Seattle to get $15 minimum wage -- nation's highest
Close

Seattle to get $15 minimum wage -- nation's highest

Seattle to get $15 minimum wage -- nation's highest
$15 minimum wage supporters at City Council meeting

Seattle to get $15 minimum wage -- nation's highest

Quick Facts:

  • City Council unanimously votes for $15 minimum wage Monday afternoon.
  • Phase-in period starts in April 1, 2015. Trainees will get lower wage.
  • The minimum wage would be highest in the nation.
  • Socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant wanted higher wage in January.

Before the ink is even dry on the new, historic minimum wage law for Seattle, new resistance is coming from many sides.  Some threaten a lawsuit, some may take their ideas to the ballot, and others want to oust the firebrand who made the $15-dollar minimum wage her campaign platform.

Seattle will soon have the nation’s highest minimum wage after a historic 9-0 vote Monday by the City Council, outlining a phased-in $15 minimum wage.

Some critics say the mayor's plan is not enough. Others say it will lead to layoffs and higher prices for consumers.

Immediately after the vote, the International Franchise Association President and CEO said a lawsuit would be filed against the “unfair and discriminatory Seattle minimum wage plan.”

“The Seattle City Council and Mayor Murray’s plan would force the 600 franchisees in Seattle, which own 1,700 franchise locations employing 19,000 workers, to adopt the full $15 minimum wage in 3 years, while most other small business owners would have seven years to adopt the $15 wage,” CEO and president Steve Caldeira said in a statement. “These hundreds of franchise small business owners are being punished simply because they chose to operate as franchisees.

“Decades of legal precedent have held that franchise businesses are independently owned businesses and are not operated by the brand’s corporate headquarters.”

Activists with 15 Now rallied in front of City Hall at 1 p.m. before the full City Council’s 2 p.m. vote.

In that minimum wage plan, which was passed unanimously last week by a city council committee, big businesses must phase-in the new wage in three to four years.

Small businesses have four to seven years.

But activists were not happy with the following components of the plan:

● During the transition period, some businesses will be allowed to credit tips and health care as part of the higher minimum wage.

● Trainees will get a lower minimum wage and the phase-in period would be delayed until April 1, 2015.

Independent restaurant owners say tips should always be considered part of worker wages.  Angela Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants says tips are included in what is reported on her employee’s income tax reports, and so they should be included in the minimum wage requirements.  “We can show that our front of the house employees are making 35-50 dollars an hour sometimes,” she explained.

Stowell says during the seven year transition period, she and other restaurateurs will continue to press the city to reconsider their tip policy, “Some continued work is going to have to happen in order for the Seattle restaurant scene to stay lively and vibrant.”

She also says she believes many small business owners will get behind a candidate to oust Socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant next year.  Stowell says she is a progressive business owner and resents having been grouped with “corporate interests” during the minimum wage debate.  “I will be happy to support a candidate running against her [Sawant] in 2015.”  

Sawant tells KIRO 7 she has no fear of political retribution, “When businesses campaign openly against me, they will be showing where they stand.  They will be showing they are against lifting workers out of poverty.”

Sawant actually wanted a more extreme wage law.  She introduced four amendments at Monday's council meeting -- one to restore the January start date.

Sage Wilson with Working Washington said while not perfect, the proposal will do.

"We think though if you take a centimeter step back, what you see is this is an agreement which is going to lift up wages for 100,000 workers in the city of Seattle and that's something we want to see pass quickly," he said before the vote.

A big question is whether 15Now will continue its signature gathering campaign to bring forward a charter amendment to Seattle voters -- possibly in November -- to bring in a straight $15 an hour minimum wage.

The group said it has gathered 10,000 signatures and is keeping its options open.  And Councilmember Sawant told KIRO 7 she will support whatever the groups decides to do.  But on Monday, she was happy to celebrate what she called “a historic victory for workers in Seattle and workers everywhere.”

There was a victory party with dancing and food in City Hall Plaza.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Volstead in downtown Jacksonville will remain open under new ownership, Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Owners of the speakeasy on West Adams Street announced it was closing Aug. 21 on Facebook. The Volstead’s co-founders said that the bar wasn’t closing for any financial reason, but because of poor health was hindering one of them from running the business any longer. After a social media outcry, Volstead patrons Dana Chen and her husband, George Cunningham, reached out to the Volstead. Over the last few weeks, they quietly negotiated a purchase deal, the Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Chen and Cunningham live in Atlantic Beach and own a real estate company. Chen told the Journal that they love everything the Volstead represents and that they want to carry on the legacy and keep the drinking spot going. The Volstead will not close its doors at any point. A party is planned for Sept. 1 to celebrate its continuation.
  • It's a bizarre story out of St. Augustine.   A 22-year-old woman is facing two misdemeanor charges, after interacting with a fisherman on Tuesday.   According to the offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Turner, was swimming in the ocean at the St. Johns County Pier, off of A1A, when she allegedly swam up to a man's fishing line, cussed him out, bite his line, and then swam away with the rigging.   When deputies arrived, the report says Turner, who smelled like alcohol, became belligerent and was verbally confrontational.   At one point, a deputy claims Turner screamed several times 'I am f****** naked', causing a scene, despite her being in a bikini at the time.   Turner is now charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.
  • Baltimore has removed statues that honored the Confederacy in the city overnight. Crews worked in Wyman Park starting around midnight Wednesday to remove the Lee and Jackson monument.  >> Read more trending news  They took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson early Wednesday after the city council passed a resolution Monday that ordered the immediate destruction of the monuments, WBAL reported. The board cited the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia for the quick removal. “Destroyed. I want them destroyed, and as soon as possible. I want them destroyed,” city councilman Brandon Scott said Monday. The statues may be sent to Confederate cemeteries after Mayor Catherine Pugh reached out to the Maryland Historical Trust for permission to remove the monuments, WBAL reported. The removal didn’t come without cost. WBAL reported Monday that the bill could be between $1 million and $2 million. The city had four monuments to the Confederacy: a Confederate women’s monument, a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, the Lee and Jackson monument and a statue of Robert Taney, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice who wrote the Dred Scott ruling in 1857, WRC reported. Baltimore isn’t the only area that is trying to remove its Confederate history.  North Carolina’s governor said he is trying to reverse a law that prohibits the removal or relocation of monuments in the state. Dallas’ mayor is looking at the city’s options. Tennessee’s governor called for the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust. Forrest was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans have spoken out about the removal of the monuments across the country. “These statues were erected over 100 years ago to honor the history of the United states. They’re just as important to the entire history of the U.S. as the monuments to our other forefathers,” Thomas V. Strain Jr. told WRC.
  • The parents of Heather Heyer, the woman killed Saturday in a protest against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, remembered the 32-year-old as a big-hearted, outspoken woman who wanted equality for all. >> Read more trending news About 1,000 mourners gathered Wednesday for Heyer’s memorial in downtown Charlottesville, the same city where police said Heyer was killed while protesting what was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. Heyer’s death sparked outrage across the nation and reinvigorated the debate over race relations in America. >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville “I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said at Wednesday’s memorial service. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Since her daughter’s death, Bro said she’s received an outpouring of support from people wondering how to help the grieving family. She suggested that anyone wishing to help should follow Heyer’s example. “I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die,” Bro said. “This is not the end of Heather’s legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?” Heather Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, remembered his daughter in an emotional speech to mourners as a passionate woman who always spoke her mind. >> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack? “She wanted equality. And in this issue, on the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” he said. “And for my part – we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop -- just love one another.” He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the group gathered to mourn his daughter. “I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, if she loved you that was it – you were stuck,” he said with a shaky laugh. Police said Heyer was killed Saturday when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, slammed a car into two vehicles and protesters in Charlottesville. >> Related: Father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer says he forgives James Fields Fields was described by his former high school teacher as a Nazi sympathizer. He traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the Unite the Right rally, a demonstration organized by white supremacists to oppose the removal of a Confederate memorial from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park. Mark Heyer said shortly after his daughter’s death that he forgave Fields, because “as far as I’m concerned, he was deceived by the devil.” “My daughter was fighting for equal rights, demonstrating against hatred and doing what she thought was right,” Mark Heyer told the New York Post on Sunday. “I can’t hate the man who did this to her because that would make me as bad as the people who did this.”
  • Now-former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown has been denied a new trial, after being convicted on 18 of 22 federal fraud-related charges in May. A judge has also issued an order denying a motion for acquittal. Brown’s sentencing has now been set for November 16th. Brown was found guilty of soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sham charity called “One Door For Education”, using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead. Her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of One Door Carla Wiley both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown at trial. Simmons has now been formally adjudicated guilty and his sentencing has been set for November 15th. FULL COVERAGE: Federal fraud trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown Brown had sought a new trial by claiming the judge improperly dismissed a juror after deliberations had already started, because that juror said at the outset of deliberations that the “Holy Spirit” had told him Brown was innocent. Her motion for acquittal said that prosecutors had not shown she had criminal intent, claiming instead that she had poorly managed her finances and office, but never intended to defraud anyone. WOKV is working through the rulings from the Judge this afternoon and will continue to update  with the basis he gave for denying both motions. Brown’s attorney James Smith tells us she’s “understandably saddened and disappointed” by the judge’s rulings, but she remains strong and maintains her innocence. She further wants supporters to know that she appreciates their prayers and will continue fighting. While Smith said Brown is planning to pursue “any and all available legal options”, he declined to get in to many specifics on what those avenues include. He says their focus right now is geting her the best sentence possible, and a motion for reconsideration is something they could look at in the future. The US Attorney’s Office declined to comment about the rulings at this time. This is a developing story that will be updated in to the afternoon.

The Latest News Videos