September 3, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Birmingham, Alabama became the first Southern city to set a higher local minimum wage on Aug. 18, when the City Council on Aug. 18 passed an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum to $10.10 an hour. The vote was 7-0 with one abstention. Low-wage workers’ pay would rise from the federal $7.25 minimum to $8.50 in July 2016, and reach $10.10 in July 2017.

"We're just trying to do what we think is best for our citizens and our workers," said Council President Johnathan Austin, who sponsored the ordinance. The measure must be reviewed by the city's legal department before it goes into effect, however. Read more


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