Los Angeles-area activists campaigning for a major increase in the minimum wage claimed a second corporate ally Thursday when The Boys Markets Inc. announced that it supports a "substantial increase" in the $3.35-an-hour standard. The Ralphs grocery chain issued a similar statement last week.
The announcements were prompted by lobbying by the East Los Angeles-based United Neighborhoods Organization, the South-Central Organizing Committee and East Valleys Organization, based in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys.
The groups--representing nearly 200,000 families--are trying to persuade the state Industrial Welfare Commission to raise the minimum wage to $5.01. The commission is expected to rule in December.
At a press conference in an East Los Angeles church, Patrick Barber, executive vice president of Boys, declined to say how much the wage should be increased. But the Mexican-American Grocers Assn., representing about 800 small grocers statewide, and Rayne Water Systems Inc. endorsed the $5.01 figure.