The New York City Council’s proposed Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act is in limbo and may not be called to a vote. The proposed bill would require city-subsidized companies to pay their employees $10 an hour plus benefits, or $11.50 an hour without health benefits. An updated version of the act would not apply to companies earning less than $1 million in city subsidies and would not apply to manufacturing companies.
The City Council held a hearing on the proposal Tuesday, Sept. 22. The majority of the council’s members support the bill, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a staunch opponent. Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not taken a position on a living wage, and Assemblywoman Inez Dickens recently withdrew her support, citing concerns the law would affect small businesses in her district.
Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, delivered a keynote address on the proposed act at the Riverside Church on Nov. 22. The rally in support of a living wage drew a crowd of an estimated 1,000 people.