NY Board Backs $15 Minimum Wage for Fast-Food Workers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -

The push for a higher minimum wage gained momentum Wednesday, with a New York labor board endorsing an eventual $15 an hour for the state’s 150,000 fast-food workers at restaurants with 30 or more locations.

The state Wage Board decision, which would be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere, must be approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has signaled his support. New York would become the first state to take such a step for a specific industry. The state minimum wage is now $8.75 an hour and is set to rise to $9 at year’s end.

Many workers say the increase would allow them to cope with the high cost of living, though restaurant owners say it will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.