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Local News in Brief : Wage Hike Endorsed

Two Latino business organizations Monday endorsed the campaign of three Los Angeles-area community groups to increase California’s minimum wage from $3.35 to $5.01 an hour.

George Sotelo of the 750-member Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Ruben Jauregui, president of the 450-member Latin Business Assn., appeared at an Eastside news conference staged by the United Neighborhoods Organization, the South-Central Organizing Committee and the East Valleys Organization to push for the increase.

The actions were the latest in a campaign by UNO, SCOC and EVO to gather public support for the proposed increase. Two weeks ago, the chief executive officer of Ralphs grocery chain said he would support a “substantial increase” in salary for low-wage earners after 300 members of the three groups converged on a Ralphs store at 3rd Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.

The $5.01 figure is based on research by the staff of the state Industrial Welfare Commission, which rules on any minimum-wage increases, that a near-50% hike would be necessary to lift minimum-wage workers to the standard of living they had in 1967.

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