Bay Area workers see increase in minimum wage

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SAN JOSE(KRON) — Luke Fortin and his fellow baristas here at Philz Coffee in Downtown San Jose say the pay raise from $13.50 to $15.00 bucks an hour, effective today, is welcome and long overdue.

“I think for every dollar [extra,] it means something like $2,000 dollars annually so that’s a lot for someone like me,” said Luke Fortin, a minimum wage worker.

San Jose is among nine Bay Area cities, including Richmond and El Cerrito, to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 dollars. The others are Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View.

“This is a reflection of an effort we launched a couple of years ago with cities throughout the South Bay to increase the minimum wage regionally to ensure workers, regardless of what side of the city limits they may be working on, would benefit from rising wages in a very, very, costly, expensive area,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

The minimum wage statewide increased to $11 dollars and hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and to $12 dollars for those with more than 25 workers.

There are concerns about those same workers getting fewer hours says Philz Manager Nikko Barerra.

“We will definitely have to take a look at the schedule and maybe find some ways to cut back a little,” said Nikko Barrera, manager of Philz Coffee.

The pay raise might take a little pressure of the tip jar in terms of making ends meet but $15 bucks an hour is still nowhere near enough to pay the rent in silicon valley says Phil’s barista Tricia Rodriguez.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction and from there, hopefully it does make a difference,” said Rodriguez.

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