Victory for San Francisco's Working Poor

| November/December 2000

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.