By James Poulos | CalWatchdog
When a handful of corporations conspires to fix wages, they face legal action. But for several cities in the San Francisco East Bay area, the idea of a concerted effort to set pay has a newfound appeal.
Rather than taking a permissive attitude toward business collusion, however, the plan is to create what supporters are calling a regional minimum wage, one higher than the $8 per hour rate that prevails in the area. (Next month, California law will require a statewide wage of at least $9 an hour, with another increase to $10 in January 2016.)
Inspired by the proposed minimum wage hike facing Oakland voters this November, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wants the two cities — plus Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito and Emeryville — to ensure pay hits $12.82 within the next three years. (The city of Richmond, meanwhile, is on track to raise its minimum wage to $12.30 within the same time frame.)