In September, with support from UFCW locals across the state, California’s legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law, which means that California will soon have the highest minimum wage in the country.
The wage will be implemented in two steps: an increase to $9 per hour in July of next year, followed by another $1 increase to $10in January of 2016.
California’s minimum wage had been stuck at $8 since 2008. Had California’s 1968 minimum wage been indexed to inflation, it would now be $11.08.
UFCW locals in California saw that an increase was long overdue so they stepped up and took action. Members held five lobby days at the State Capitol in Sacramento. This gave UFCW members the opportunity to appeal directly to State Senators, Assembly members, and the Governor about how raising the minimum wage would impact their lives.
As the minimum wage bill headed towards passage, UFCW members willed it over the finish line by making direct phone calls to uncommitted legislators.
At the signing of the bill, Governor Brown’s remarks made it clear he heard their message loud and clear.