SEATTLE’S city council unanimously voted yesterday to increase the city’s hourly minimum wage to $15 (£8.96) — the highest in the US.
The issue has dominated Seattle politics for months and union activists packed the council chambers for the vote.
Mayor Ed Murray, who was elected last year, campaigned on the increase.
It will take effect on April 1 2015, being phased in over several years.
Businesses with more than 500 employees nationally have three years to raise wages.
Those providing health insurance will have four years and smaller organisations seven.
The International Franchise Association, a business group that represents franchise owners, said it plans to sue to stop the rise.