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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Chamber Opposes Minimum Wage Increase

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors has voted to oppose Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to hike the minimum wage in the city to $13.25 an hour by 2017. The board voted Thursday and announced its opposition Tuesday. Of the chamber board’s of more than 100 members, only 61 voted. Of those, 47 voted to oppose the wage hike. “From restaurants to retail and services to manufacturing, thousands of employers across the city will face the question of how to remain competitive without laying off employees or cutting hours,” said Gary Toebben, the chamber’s chief executive, in a statement. “This proposal, as a stand-alone measure, will not create more jobs or improve the economy; it will do the opposite.” Instead, Toebben said, any plan to raise the minimum wage must be accompanied by a comprehensive plan to increase jobs, help current local businesses to expand and bring new businesses to the city. “While we understand the need and agree with the desire to improve the wages and living conditions for many employees, any discussion of wage increases must be one part of a larger plan with concrete steps to grow our economy, increase private sector jobs and bring new businesses to Los Angeles,” Toebben said. Garcetti on Labor Day called for the minimum wage for all workers in the city to rise to $10.25 an hour next year from the current $9, then jump to $11.75 an hour in 2016 and to $13.25 an hour in 2017. After that, the wage would increase annually, pegged to the Consumer Price Index. Toebben said the total wage increase of $4.25 an hour would increase costs by $10,000 annually for each minimum wage employee, once workers’ compensation, payroll taxes and other benefits are factored in. Another local business group, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, has expressed skepticism about Garcetti’s proposal, though it has postponed a formal vote until the mayor makes a presentation to the organization’s board.

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