by: Essex Porter Updated:SEATTLE —
In a campaign announcement Tuesday, tate Sen. Ed Murray made a higher minimum wage the first thing on his Economic Opportunity Agenda for Seattle.
Murray and current Mayor Mike McGinn are battling over whom best will represent the interests of the working class if elected.
Low-wage workers, especially fast-food workers are demanding the minimum wage be increased from $9.19 an hour to $15 an hour.
Today Murray called for a $15 minimum wage, but phased in over time.
“I think I can bring business along,” Murray said. “But it is going to be a process. And if we don't bring business along this is going to be a city four years from now of the wealthy period.”
Murray says he’d limit the $15 an hour minimum to big corporations like the big box stores and the big fast food chains.
Murray says small businesses will be exempt.
McGinn says he’s also supports a $15 per hour minimum wage, but isn’t impressed by Murray’s announcement “I think if you take a close look at Sen. Murray's proposal, that's all he's proposing, to talk more about it. I agree with that.”
McGinn himself often talks about a higher minimum wage, but responding to questions today, made it clear he supports the $15 an hour figure.
“I absolutely would support a $15 an hour minimum wage. Absolutely,” McGinn said.
But don’t expect a city ordinance to create a $15 minimum wage soon.
Both candidates say they want to build a consensus among business and labor before legislation.