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Workers' Coalition Rallies For $15 Minimum Wage Hike

LOS ANGELES ( — A coalition of workers, businesspeople and civic leaders Friday rallied outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles calling upon lawmakers to increase the city's minimum wage to over $15 an hour.

KNX 1070's Jon Baird reports the Raise the Wage L.A coalition gathered on the South Lawn on Spring Street to press for the City Council to move swiftly on increasing the wage to match inflation, requiring earned sick days and enforcement against wage and labor violations.

A recent poll commissioned by Raise The Wage found that 66 percent of 1,000 voters surveyed from Jan. 7-15 support raising the wage. The support for the wage increase and the other measures was even greater among the 600 voters who live in the city of Los Angeles, with 69 percent coming out in favor.

"Somebody making $9 an hour is not enough to pay utilities, to pay rent," said one protester.

But business owners are warning that any such increase would drive firms out of the region and force those who stay to either cut jobs or raise prices to survive.

"[A minimum wage increase] would cause L.A. businesses to be unable to compete and grow their companies," said Tracy Rafter is with the L.A. County Business Federation.

But the L.A. County Business Federation is against the increase…saying it will force some companies to cut staff, raise prices…or move out of LA for good.

Earlier this month, President Obama made a higher minimum wage and earned sick days a centerpiece of his State of the Union Address.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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