In a move reminiscent of the president’s earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order Wednesday that will require city contractors to pay a higher minimum wage for some of their employees.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the executive order will require contractors and subcontractors to pay workers at least $13 an hour when the city gives them work.
The issue of raising the minimum wage has already been an important part of Emanuel’s time as mayor. He has already introduced a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 by 2018, as recommended to the city council by a task force.
The mayor hopes that this most recent executive order will benefit about 1,000 contracted employees in areas such as landscaping, maintenance, security, concessionaires and custodians.
This move by Emanuel may help him significantly as he heads closer to his reelection bid in February of 2015. To win reelection Emanuel will have to beat a progressive candidates like alderman Robert Fioretti and Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis.
“This is a down payment on the goal for all 400,000 people,” Emanuel told reporters after the signing, according to Bloomberg. “For the around 1,000, that will be impactful. They’ll start seeing it in their paycheck immediately. That’s a good thing for the city of Chicago. It’s good thing for our economy.”
“A higher minimum wage is essential to putting a financial floor beneath our hard-working families,” the mayor declared in a statement. “With this executive action, we’ll help ensure that nobody who is contracted to do work with the city of Chicago will ever have to raise their children in poverty.”
The minimum wage is not just an issue being discussed within Chicago but also across Illinois as a whole. Residents of the state will vote this fall on an advisory referendum to increase the state minimum wage to $10.
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