The idea of better pay for hard work became a reality for thousands of New Yorkers with the flick of pen. Mayor Bill de Blasio stood in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, surrounded by politicians, and signed an executive order that expands the living wage to employees of commercial tenants on projects that get economic development subsidies of $1 million dollars or more.
The order includes retailers and other companies that lease space in subsidized developments.
Workers who do not get benefits, like health insurance, will see their pay rise from $10.10 an hour to $13.13. Those with benefits will see an increase from $10.30 to $11.50. It’s expected that as many as 18,000 people will benefit over the next five years.
The expansion means that 4100 people who work in retail and fast-food businesses will get a pay bump.
The city enacted the living wage law in 2012, but it only covered about 1200 jobs. Retailers and fast food operations in city subsidized developments got a pass from paying the higher wage. The executive order changes that.