$15 minimum wage could help South LA hotel workers

Embassy Suites hotel workers on strike | LA County Federation of Labor

Three Los Angeles City Council members have launched a bid to increase the wages of the city’s hotel workers to $15.37 an hour, a major pay jump for more than 40 percent of the industry’s workers who live below the poverty line.

The raise would affect hotels with more than 100 rooms — 87 of them in L.A. — and an estimated 10,000 employees. Union workers said the increase could lift housekeepers, busboys and maintenance workers out of poverty.

That could be especially significant in South L.A.’s 9th District, an area with the city’s highest poverty rate.

“Income inequality is a persistent issue plaguing our country, our city and especially our under-served South Los Angeles community,” said District 9 councilman Curren Price, who is pushing for the wage increase along with councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez representing West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, respectively. [Read more…]

Councilmembers call for increased hotel worker wages

Nury Martinez, Mike Bonin and Curren Price outside City Hall | Katherine Davis

Nury Martinez, Mike Bonin and Curren Price outside City Hall | Katherine Davis

City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price Jr. are proposing an increase of hotel worker wages to $15.37 per hour, a change that would apply to as many as 11,000 hotel employees working in hotels throughout Los Angeles that offer more than 100 rooms. The councilmembers, including Price from South L.A.’s District 9, say that as L.A.’s tourism industry grows, hotel workers deserve a share in the wealth. Some business organizations, however, are hesitant about the plan.

Click play on an audio story from Annenberg Radio News to hear arguments for and against the hike in pay.