Chicago mayor proposes hike in hourly minimum wage

Chicago mayor proposes hike in hourly minimum wage
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn agreed on Sunday to briefly live on a minimum-wage salary as he rallies support for a November ballot measure.

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced an ordinance that would gradually increase the minimum wage in the city to $13 an hour.

The proposal would increase the current $8.25 minimum wage by 45 percent over the next four years.

If approved by the City Council, wages would increase $1.25 an hour in each of the next three years. A $1 increase would take place in 2018.

Emanuel contends the increase would affect more than 400,000 workers in Chicago, about 30 percent of the workforce.

He says the hike would add $800 million to the local economy.

However, restaurant owner Rocky Gupta said Wednesday businesses like his would probably cut staff and raise prices.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association contends the proposed minimum wage hike could drive businesses out of Chicago.

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