San Francisco has passed a living-wage ordinance that will raise
hourly wages for about 21,500 workers to $9 an hour, plus health
benefits. As Kathleen Haley writes for the Alternet news service
(July 20, 2000), the move affects employees of all businesses that
have substantial contracts with the city, such as workers in the
home-care industry and at San Francisco International Airport.
Similar ordinances have been passed in Portland, Boston, Detroit,
Chicago, and New York, Haley notes, but the number of people
covered by the San Francisco law, its generous annual pay raise
(2.5 percent), and its health plan puts the city at the forefront
of this growing national movement.