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No Increase For Minimum Wage

A state commission has rejected a dollar an hour increase in California´s minimum wage.

The Industrial Welfare Commission voted three to two Friday to turn down a plan that would have boosted the wage to $7.25 in July and to $7.75 in July 2004. It´s currently $6.75 an hour and was last increased on January 1st, 2002.

Critics cited the state´s slumping economy and higher workers compensation insurance costs faced by employers as reasons for rejecting the increase. But the executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, Art Pulaski, says current minimum wage leaves workers who receive it mired in poverty.