Despite reports that nearby SeaTac, which enacted a similar $15-an-hour minimum wage ordinance encumbered by subsequent job losses, reductions in hours, elimination of overtime and implementation of paid parking for employees, Seattle has passed its own historic minimum wage hike.

Depending on the size of the business, the Emerald City's $15-an-hour mandate will be phased in over the next three to seven years beginning April 1, 2015.

Mayor Ed Murray, who proposed the measure and sent it to the City Council for approval, said he will sign it today.

"We did it. Workers did this," said Kshama Sawant, the recently elected socialist city council member who, like Murray, was elected touting the initiative. "We need to continue to build an even more powerful movement."

"The City Council's action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners," the International Franchise Association countered in a statement.