More than two dozen Pasadena workers demonstrated at City Hall Wednesday to demand that the City Council keep its commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour on July 1, as scheduled.
The raise is part of a three-phase minimum wage increase voted on by the City Council in 2019.
Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) told Pasadena Now, “We’ve heard rumors that there is an effort by a segment of local businesses , and it appears that there might be some elected officials leaning in their direction—who are asking to stop the minimum wage from rising.”
Minimum wage workers, who currently make between $13.25 to $14.25, are concerned that the City Council’s Economic Development and Technology (EDTech) subcommittee will give in to pressure by Pasadena businesses especially restaurateurs to postpone the next minimum wage increase.
“Everybody is suffering during this pandemic and no one has suffered more than the essential minimum wage worker,” said Florence Annang, co-chair of Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP).
“I am counting on the minimum wage to increase to $15.00 on July 1st. That is what the politicians told us. In times of pandemic and economic depression, we need more money in our pockets, not less. It is unfair and immoral that workers have to bear the burden all the time. said Marta Salazar, a Pasadena Resident and low wage restaurant worker.
The Council EDTech Committee, already facing a full agenda on Thursday, has not scheduled a minimum wage discussion item for discussion, however.
Responded Alvarado, “Look, there are a lot of rumors. We want to hear from the politicians, because they promised that on July 1, that the minimum wage will increase to July 15, and we want to believe in the political process, and we want them to keep their word.”
Added Alvarado, “We want them to send a very clear message, with no ambiguity. Do they support (postponing minimum wage) or do they support workers?”