Tensions grow in Seattle's minimum wage plan

SEATTLE -  Tensions are growing between business and labor groups as the Seattle City Council begins debating Mayor Ed Murray's plan to increase the minimum wage on Thursday.

Business groups have been lobbying for more concessions to a plan forged after five months of negotiations among labor, employers and nonprofit representatives in an advisory committee.

The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years, including a consideration for tips and health care costs over the first five years of the phase-in.

But now, business groups are pushing for a training wage, a longer phase-in for nonprofits and no minimum wage for employers with less than 10 employees.

In letter to the City Council, labor representatives from the advisory committee say the City Council should pass the agreed upon plan.